Tiffany Sornpao made two crucial saves in Sunday’s ASUN Quarterfinal shootout to set up a game-winning PK from Carly Pressgrove to advance Kennesaw State to the ASUN Semifinals.
“The penalty kick shootout is a brutal way to win and lose,” said head coach Benji Walton. “I think Tiffany is as good as it gets when it comes to penalty kicks, and we felt confident with her in goal that she was going to save at least one, if not two, and she did just that today. Our shooters also did a good job of doing their part.”
KSU and North Florida went back and forth for 110 minutes without a goal. The game then proceeded to penalties.
Sornpao saved the first kick of the shootout, setting the tone for the remainder of the match. The Owls then converted three straight penalties. Sornpao made another save, giving the Owls an even bigger advantage.
Morgan Harrison had a chance to put the game away but was denied by UNF’s goalkeeper, Rhiannon Conelley. UNF made its next penalty, but Pressgrove stepped to the spot and hammered home the decisive penalty to take her team to the semifinals.
Chaos ensued as the rest of the team rushed the field to celebrate, and a dogpile formed on top of Sornpao.
KSU will play top-seeded Lipscomb in Nashville on Friday, Nov. 3. The Owls should feel confident going into this game since they beat Lipscomb 1-0 in Nashville just last week to make the playoffs.
The Owls lost to Florida Gulf Coast in their trip to the semifinals last year and will hope to redeem themselves against Lipscomb this Friday.
KSU is 1-5 when they concede two or more goals in a match but have only scored four regulation-time goals in their last six matchups.
The Owls’ defense, led by senior Abby Roth, will have to “park the bus,” if they plan to advance to the championship.