Geneseo survives first round of NCAA Women's Soccer Championship

Geneseo survives first round of NCAA Women's Soccer Championship

GENESEO, N.Y. - The Geneseo Knights used some late-game heroics Saturday afternoon to defeat Penn St. Berks, 2-1, in the First Round of the NCAA Women's Soccer Championship.

The first thirty minutes of the game started ominously.  Both teams moved the ball back-and-forth and traded shots to no avail.  Then, in the thirty-second minute, Penn St.-Berks' Melissa Martin found the back of the net for her tenth goal of the season.  The Nittany Lions preserved their lead for the remainder of the half, despite Geneseo's nine shots.

The beginning of the second hald saw both teams struggle to produce offensive opportunities.  With fifteen minutes remaining in the game, Geneseo nearly scored on a penalty kick played directly in front of the goal. 

A few moments later, Penn St.-Berks' goalie Paige Elmy was removed due to an apparent head injury, forcing the Nittany Lions to put in their backup goalie. 

Geneseo would need to take advantage of this, as Elmy had stifled the Knight offense.  For the next thirteen minutes, the Knights came very close to capitalizing but could not convert.

With two minutes remaining in regulation, it appeared that host team Geneseo would be bowing out early.  Audrey Reid, the Knights' top goal-scorer this season, then came on to attempt a corner kick.  Reid delivered a perfect cross into the box, where Ashley Byrne was able to knock in the game-tying goal with 1:49 remaining.  As the final horn sounded, both teams were knotted at one and headed to overtime.

In bonus action, the Nittany Lions and Knights traded opportunities with each other.  Then, at 7:22 into overtime action, SUNYAC Defensive Player of the Year Leah Greene broke free of Penn St.-Berks defenders and drilled the game-winning goal in for Geneseo. 

The Knights will now move on to play the winner of Hamilton/Misericordia on Sunday, November 12, at 1 p.m.