COMMERCE, TX (KAUZ) - Midwestern State advanced past No. 10 St. Edward's for the second time in the NCAA Tournament Friday as the sixth-seeded Mustangs upset the No. 3 seed Hilltoppers in penalty kicks, 6-5, to move on to the South Central Region semifinals at Lion Soccer Field.
Midwestern State (13-5-4) will face No. 2 seed Texas A&M-Commerce Sunday at 2 p.m. at Lion Soccer Field for a berth in the regional finals next weekend.
"Today was a wonderful day for the program, and a great game of soccer between two good teams," said MSU Head Coach Damian Clarke. "St. Edward's is a perennial power, and we have a lot of respect for them. I do believe that we had the best of them most of the game, but they did make us perform. Our back four was tremendous, and we did score a great goal to pull level. We are proud to represent MSU again on Sunday."
The Mustangs and Hilltoppers battled to a 1-1 draw after 110 minutes of play before the contest was to be decided by penalty kicks. Midwestern held a one-point edge in the early part of the shootout after junior goalkeeper Courtney Burnette saved the first attempt by Grace McSwain. St. Edward's (15-1-3) pulled even in the third round with Lorrie Santoy collecting a save to make the score 2-2.
Both teams were deadlocked at 4-4 through five attempts with SEU's Kelly Andrus and MSU's Hanna Mattinson being selected to begin the sixth round. Burnette collected her second save of the shootout on Andrus' attempt before Mattinson found the back of the net to give the Mustangs the 6-5 edge and a spot in the regional semifinals.
In the final minutes of the opening period, senior midfielder Katie Huff came close to giving the Mustangs an early advantage but sailed her shot just high with her attempt hitting the crossbar to keep the contest scoreless at the half.
The Hilltoppers struck first just 31 seconds into the second period with a goal from Gracen Jacks from 17 yards out for SEU's second shot on goal of the game.
The Mustangs placed a pair of shots on target following SEU's score before freshman forward Avery Lewis recorded the equalizer in the 63rd minute with a shot inside the box to make it a 1-1 game. Midwestern totaled four additional shots on goal down the stretch while SEU was held to just one before heading into overtime.
Sydney Carroll's attempt in the 99th minute was the lone shot on goal for either team in the extra period with the Hilltoppers holding a 3-0 edge in shots in the final 20 minutes.
Texas A&M-Kingsville hit .301 to earn a 3-0 sweep and hand Midwestern State a defeat in its final regular season contest Friday evening at the Steinke Center.
Midwestern State (12-20, 6-14 LSC) remains in contention for the final spot in next weekend's Lone Star Conference Tournament in San Angelo. A Texas Woman's loss to UT Permian Basin tomorrow in Odessa would guarantee the Mustangs the final tourney spot.
Texas A&M-Kingsville (24-8, 13-6 LSC) used a 6-2 run midway through the opening set to break a 10-10 tie with the Mustangs with a pair of service aces giving the Javelinas momentum heading into the final stretch. Aerielle Edwards hit .600 with six kills to help the Mustangs hit a match-best .481 compared to TAMUK's .458. However, MSU was unable to overcome the TAMUK spurt with the Javelinas going on to record a 25-19 win in the first frame.
Edwards and Sarah Garfield combined for nine of MSU's 12 kills in the second set. The Javelinas took a sizable lead early in the game with an 8-3 run to begin the set, recording as much as a seven-point advantage in the frame before the Mustangs pulled back within three following an Edwards kill at 18-15. However, the Javelinas denied MSU a late comeback, going on to take another 25-19 victory.
Edwards tacked on seven kills in the third set but the Mustangs were limited to a .122 hitting percentage. With the game tied at 15 apiece, the Javelinas went on a 4-0 run to force a Midwestern timeout. A TAMUK attack error brought the Mustangs back within two at 23-21 before the Javelinas were able to hold off an MSU rally with a 25-21 win.
Edwards led the Mustangs with 18 kills on a match-best .438 hitting percentage, her 17th time this season leading the team.