Nov. 9, 2007
Box Score in PDF Format
MUNCIE, Ind. - After battling for 110 minutes without scoring, the Northern Illinois-Toledo MAC semifinal was decided in penalty kicks with the 4-3 decision going to the second-seeded Rockets. The Huskies, who entered the tournament as the No. 3 seed, end the season at 10-5-5, their best mark since the 1998 campaign while Toledo (15-5-1) advances to meet the winner of Friday's second semifinal between top-seeded Ball State and fourth-seeded Bowling Green.
Brittany Hensley scored the deciding goal for the Rockets and Northern Illinois' Elaine Eliadis (Orland Park, Ill./Carl Sandburg) fired a shot off the cross bar to end the game in the sixth round of penalty kicks.
"Our girls played so well today," said head coach Marci Miller Jobson. "From the minute the whistle blew to start the game we were all over Toledo. It was an amazing game and probably the best game we played all year. Anything can happen when you get into penalty kicks, they ended up with one more than we did and it was a heartbreaking way to end the season. I am so proud of our effort and the way we created opportunities and played great defense."
Toledo's Molly Cornwell opened the penalty kick session with a goal and the Rockets preserved a 1-0 lead after the first round when goalie Andrea Plewes stopped the attempt by Thea Johnson (Homewood, Ill./Homewood-Flossmoor). In the next round, both Toledo's Tara Witt and NIU's Karen Enockson (St. Charles, Ill./East) scored to make it 2-1. After a Lindsey Curnock (Batavia, Ill./Batavia) stop on the attempt by Pene Hughes, Jenna Clausen (Racine, Wisc./Horlick) found the back of the net to knot the game at two.
In round four, Plews scored for Toledo and was answered with a conversion by Lisa Maier (Orland Park, Carl Sandburg) and the score was 3-3. Neither the Rockets' Rachel White nor the Huskies' Erin Fahey (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln-Way Central) was able to convert in the next round, keeping the score deadlocked at three before the winning goal by Hensley.
NIU senior defender Katie Sturges (Downers Grove, Ill./South) kept Cornwell, the MAC Player of the Year, in check, holding her to just two shots, none on goal, during the match.
The loss ended NIU's six-match unbeaten streak and extended Toledo's winning streak over the Huskies to six games, dating back to the 2003 season, a stretch that included a 2-1 decision in last year's MAC Championship Match.
"Our team grew and developed so much during the season, especially in the last seven games," said Jobson. "We really came together, had great team chemistry and played for each other. We'll leave this season knowing how to compete against the best teams in the MAC."