Westminster College won their second ever SLIAC Women's Soccer Championship on Friday night in front of their home crowd in thrilling overtime fashion. Westminster, the third seed in the tournament, continued their postseason thrills on their way to the 2018 title. After advancing on penalty kicks in the semifinals the Blue Jays needed extra time to get past fourth-seeded Greenville University 3-2 in the second overtime period.
The championship game between Greenville and Westminster was much different than their regular season meeting, which saw the two teams battle to a 0-0 scoreless tie. On Friday night the two teams combined for five goals with Kate Ponder getting the scoring started. Ponder sent a head ball in off a corner kick just 15-minutes into the start of the game to put the Blue Jays up.
Westminster extended their lead less than 20-minutes later when Gracie Koonce weaved her way through Panther defenders before angling a shot inside the far right post from 20-yards outs. Already up 2-0, the Blue Jays had a chance to put Greenville away when they drew a pair of penalty kicks when defenders pulled them down inside the box.
However, Greenville keeper Marjory Coates kept the Panthers alive by stopping both penalty kicks; just 1:15 apart on the clock. Greenville's finally got on the scoreboard thanks to success on their set pieces. With just 10-minutes left Michelle Grotefendt buried a shot off a corner kick to bring the score to 2-1. Five minutes later it was Panther Brooklyn Haro scoring, again off a corner kick entry from teammate Dani Pearce, to make it a brand new game.
Greenville carried that momentum into overtime, outshooting Westminster 3-1 in the first period; but neither team was able to record the golden goal. The Panthers were again outshooting the Blue Jays in the second overtime frame when Ponder put a second chance ball away inside the six-yard line.
Westminster outshot Greenville 21-17 in the game and held the edge in corner kicks as well 11-4 including eight in the second half. Marjory Coates made six saves for Greenville while Sarah Cradick stopped three shots.
Westminster improves to 11-4-3 overall and takes their second SLIAC Women's Soccer Championship title, joining the 2015 team. They await the release of the NCAA Division III National Tournament bracket on Monday.
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