The last time the USCB women’s soccer team went to overtime, the Sand Sharks let an opportunity to knock off undefeated Southeastern slip away. This time, the Sand Sharks found the golden goal that earned them a rematch with the Fire.
Mari Kalvatn netted the game-winner in double overtime to lift USCB to a 3-2 win over St. Thomas on Sunday in the Sun Conference quarterfinals, sending the Sand Sharks through to a semifinal showdown with Southeastern on Tuesday.
Down 2-0 at halftime, the Sand Sharks recorded three unanswered goals, including Kalvatn’s game-winner to extend the home team’s season.
The first half favored STU, as the Bobcats connected with a pair of early goals from Andrea Manzur and Kayla Jackson. Just 10 minutes into the second session, Aurya Downey cut the deficit in half when Madeline Matusik ripped a shot from close distance, and after deflecting off the STU keeper, Downey flicked the ball into the net to make the game 2-1.
Just five minutes later, Matusik found the equalizer with her third goal of 2020. Dina Stalnacke took a corner from the left side and put a cross towards the back post. Matusik found the ball and ripped a shot that was blocked. After corralling the rebound, Matusik again connected and booted it past the keeper and into the back of the net to tie the game at 2.
USCB continued to maintain pressure in regulation, including a solid chance in the 78th minute when Marcela Shartouny hit the left post. The freshman curled a shot from the 18-yard line, but the attempt hit the post to keep the game tied, 2-2. The first 10-minute, golden-goal session didn’t have a lot of chances at goal for either team. Both teams combined for three shots with two being on frame.
STU connected with a pair of shots within the first four minutes of the second extra session, but both attempts were blocked. Countering after the second blocked shot, Matusik worked to the left corner and fed a cross into the middle of the 18-yard box. Splitting two defenders, Kalvatn controlled the ball and struck the ball past the STU goalkeeper to lift USCB to its 3-2 quarterfinal win.
The Sand Sharks (5-5) now get another shot at the Fire (11-0), who escaped Fin Land Field with a 3-2 overtime win Oct. 28. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday in Lakeland, Florida.