When and Where: November 12, 2017 – Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. (Mercy Field)
Score: Mercy College 3, Southern New Hampshire University 1
Records: Mercy 17-3-0, SNHU 15-3-5
Senior Trisha Luis (Lowell, Mass.) tied the match with a penalty kick in the 59th minute, but a pair of goals less than two minutes apart late in the match lifted second-seeded and 17th-ranked Mercy College to a 3-1 victory against the third-seeded and 24th-ranked Southern New Hampshire University women's soccer in an NCAA Tournament second round tilt Sunday at Mercy Field.
Mercy advances to its second regional final and first since 2014, as it awaits the winner of top-seeded Adelphi University and fourth-seeded Long Island University-LIU Post.
It took just 90 seconds for the contest's first truly dangerous chance, as a Mercy centering feed rolled toward the middle of the box for Ally Boots, but her blast from inside the 6-yard box somehow sailed just over the crossbar.
The Mavericks knocked on the door again less than two minutes later when Haley Noble delivered a good service into the box, but Heidi Serna's header flick just narrowly missed the mark.
Mercy looked like it would go ahead in the 17th minute when Jessica Brandt's free kick from outside the box drilled the crossbar, pulling senior goalkeeper Paige Salmon (W. Hempstead, N.Y.) in toward the right side of the net and out of position once the ball caromed back right to Boots, who was in good shape to punch it into the back of the net, but Salmon went down to the left to punch the ball away and keep it scoreless.
Two minutes later, it was Mercy goalkeeper Melissa Torres doing the robbing, as she dove to her right to take a long, low shot that was heading toward the left post away from Luis. She did leave a rebound opportunity, but senior Abigail Maker (Naples, Maine) could not make it to the ball in time.
Late in the 20th minute, Noble ran down a loose ball in the box, but Salmon raced from the other direction and slid to the turf to take it off the foot of Noble.
The furious action continued in the 24th minute, with Boots running on to a ball in the box and ripping a low shot that was gobbled up by Salmon, who sprawled to her right to make the save.
A great defensive play in the 35th minute took an opportunity away from Luis, who led a 2-on-1 break and looked to slip a ball across the box for wide open junior Danielle Humphreys (Hebron, Conn.), but the attempt was blocked out of play.
Freshman Allyson Patterson (Seekonk, Mass.) had a chance in the 38th minute, as she tried to sneak a shot over Torres, but her chip sailed just over the crossbar.
Mercy finally scored the match's first goal with just over five minutes on the clock in the first half, as Corinna Ferrante rescued a ball on the end line, turned and lofted a shot from an impossible angle that soared over the box and just inside the far right post to give the Mavericks a 1-0 advantage.
The score stayed that way through halftime and into the 59th minute when Luis was taken down in the box and awarded a penalty kick. She made good on it to knot the game for Southern New Hampshire, 1-1.
The Penmen generated a solid chance in the 83rd minute when junior Miranda Peloquin (Greenville, R.I.) played a beautiful ball over the top for Luis, who tracked it down ahead of a racing Torres, but did not have an angle and had to unleash a quick shot that the 'keeper deflected out of bounds. SNHU was awarded a corner kick, but a foul in the box ended the sequence.
Mercy went ahead with 5:05 remaining as Noble slipped a pass from the right side into the middle of the box for Serna, who turned and sent a shot past a diving Salmon and into the left side of the net.
The Mavericks added an insurance marker less than two minutes later when Serna sent a feed across the box from left to right for Natalia Elizarraras, who was able to tap the ball in at the right post to make it 3-1.
- Southern New Hampshire falls to 1-3-1 all-time in its fourth NCAA Tournament appearance.
- The 15 victories for the Penmen finish as the sixth highest number of wins in a single season in program history.
- The three strikes for Mercy marked the first time in 23 matches this season that SNHU allowed more than two goals.
- Mercy's win avenges a 2-1 loss to Southern New Hampshire on its home turf during the regular season back on Oct. 25.
- This was just the second loss in 21 matches for the Penmen (14-2-5).
- Luis' goal – the 26th and final one of her career – was her 11th of the season.
- Luis improved to 4-for-4 on penalty kicks in 2017 with the successful attempt.
- Southern New Hampshire falls to 19-5-5, dating back to Oct. 15 of last season.
- The Penmen outscored their opponents, 40-15, on the season, and outshot them, 400-192.
- Mercy outshot Southern New Hampshire, 13-9, including 8-3 in the opening stanza, and held a 5-1 advantage in corner kicks.
- This marked the final match for Luis, Salmon, Maker, Rianna Fasanello (E. Bridgewater, Mass.), Courtney Benson (Hopkinton, Mass.), Sydney Crema (Litchfield, N.H.), Alena Woodarek (Springville, N.Y.) and junior Shannon Valente (Windham, Maine).
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