(GREENSBORO, N.C.) - The 2019 season came to an end in the national semifinals after a 3-1 defeat in penatly kicks for the Carnegie Mellon University women's soccer team who tied No. 1 Messiah College, 1-1, after 110 minutes of action. The 25th-ranked Tartans end the year with a 14-5-3 record after the program's first trip to the NCAA Divsion III Women's Soccer Championship semifinals.
As action started, the Tartans got off the first shot of the game when junior Taylor Cammarata (Cary, N.C. / Green Hope) hit a left-footed shot wide right of the goal in the seventh minute.
The Falcons then held possession for the next 15 minutes firing off three shots wide with the Tartan defense collapsing and blocking other opportunities in front of senior goalkeeper Andrea Sipos (Bel Air, Md. / Bel Air). In the 13th minute, freshman Nikki Hasson (Torrance, Calif. / California Academy of Mathematics and Science) calmly saved a shot that got by Sipos when Rebecca Ritchie collected her own blocked shot and tried to place a shot to the right corner as Sipos was moving to her right following the ball that bounced off senior defender Camille Williams (Cincinnati, Ohio / The Seven Hills School).
The Tartans regained possession and moved the ball up field winning a throw in deep in Falcon territory. Freshman Helena Spencer (Warrenton, Va. / Patriot) got around a defender on the right side but her pass into the box was cleared out by a central defender. Hasson won it back for the Tartans and sent a pass to the right of the 18-yard box which was headed forward by senior midfielder Tara Durstewitz (Old Bridge, N.J. / Old Bridge) to Spencer. The speedy forward again got around her defender and centered a low driven cross into the box. Falcon keeper Lydia Ewing dove to push it out but it deflected off her teammate where freshman Alex Adams (Pittsburgh, Pa. / North Allegheny) was there to finish the shot for game's first goal in the 26th minute.
Sipos made her first save of the game two minutes later when Ellie Lengacher got off a shot right at the senior keeper for an easy stop.
The Tartans controlled possession over the final 12 minutes of the half and led 1-0 against the top-ranked Falcons.
Messiah started the second half looking for the equalizer but time and again the defense and Sipos were there to thwart any opportunities with Sipos diving on loose balls and making saves in the 54th and 57th minutes.
Spencer, who was a threat all game, got around the defense again in the 59th minute forcing Ewing to make a save on a hard-driven shot from straight on.
In the 70th minute, Sipos made another save when Barb Foster put a shot on frame in the top left corner.
The Falcons were able to equalize with 12:44 to go in the game when Kayla Herr slipped a shot just inside the right post past a diving Sipos from 24 yards out.
The score would stay 1-1 as the regulation horn sounded putting the game into sudden death overtime.
Durstewitz nearly scored the game winner with 1:57 to play in the first overtime when her shot from the right side was cleared off the line by a Falcon defender. Another opportunity for the Tartans came in the second overtime when sophomore Stephanie Ramsay (Lake Forest, Ill. / Loyola Academy) got around a defender but her shot was wide of the frame.
Messiah was up first in the penalty shootout, making its first attempt off the foot of Maddie Kohl and later led 3-1 before the fourth attempt by the Tartans. Ewing seemed to know where the Tartans were going to place their attempts, making three saves to send her team to the national final.
The Tartans finish the season as the only women's team in school history to make a national semifinal. With her goal inthe 26th minute, Adams tied the school record for goals in a season with 14, a record set in 1995. The freshman's point total set a new season record at 34, topping the previous mark set in 1994.