The Frostburg State women's soccer team captured its second straight AMCC championship with a thrilling shootout win over top-seeded La Roche Saturday afternoon in Pittsburgh.
The teams battled to a 2-2 tie through two overtimes, but the Bobcats outscored the Redhawks, 3-1, in penalty kicks to post the upset.
La Roche (15-4-2) got the first attempt in the shootout but Bobcat junior Stephanie Zych (Guilderland/Slingerlands, N.Y.) made a diving stop.
Sophomore Karen Kotofski (Northeast/Glen Burnie, Md.) then converted on FSU's first try to give the Bobcats a crucial 1-0 lead.
The Redhawks couldn't answer on their second attempt, as the shot hit the crossbar, but FSU's second try was saved.
La Roche, which defeated FSU, 2-1, during the regular-season, got on the board in the third round, but Bobcat freshman Beth Hlebasko (Linganore/New Market, Md.) drilled her attempt to give FSU a tense 2-1 edge.
FSU sealed it in the fourth round, as Zych made another key stop and freshman Erin Carraghan (Walkersville/Walkersville, Md.) buried her kick to give the Bobcats an insurmountable 3-1 lead with just one round remaining.
"Our players did a great job today," said FSU first-year head coach Brian Parker. "We've been training for penalty kicks, and we came through when it counted."
La Roche opened the championship game scoring in the 25th minute with a goal off a direct free kick, but FSU anwered later in the first half.
Sophomore Lynnea Finch (Franklin/Owings Mill, Md.) flicked a header to classmate Erika Neuser (Fallston/Forest Hill, Md.), who collected the ball and beat the Redhawk keeper in a one-on-one situation.
The Bobcats (10-7-4), who knocked off second-seeded Pitt-Greensburg, 2-1 in overtime, in the semifinals Thursday, moved in front in the second half when sophomore Aimee Sprague (Yarmouth/Yarmouth, Mass.) scored off assists from Neuser and Kotofski.
However, La Roche tied it on a header with 2:30 remaining in regulation to send the game into the extra sessions.
The championship win put the final touches on a tough season for FSU, which began the season 4-1-2 before later enduring a 2-6-1 stretch against several regionally ranked opponents. The Bobcats then upset powerhouse Carnegie Mellon, 1-0, on Oct. 22 which jump-started their run to the AMCC title.
"I really feel like all the adversity we've endured this year really paid off today," said Parker, whose squad has now played a school-record seven overtime games.
The Bobcats, who improved to an impressive 3-0-4 in those overtime contests, now await a possible selection to the ECAC Tournament.
For further information on this release, contact:
Office of Sports Information
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD 21532-2303