Nov. 4, 2011
For the ninth time in the last 11 State Farm MVC Women's Soccer Tournament matches, the Missouri State women's soccer team (12-4-2) needed extra time to decide the outcome. Tiffany Laughlin's header in the third minute of overtime lifted the Bears to their second straight MVC Championship match and a 2-1 win over UNI (8-10-3) at Cooper Family Soccer Plex on Friday night.
"We started the game really well, including getting the goal," said head coach Rob Brewer. "Our players were gutsy enough to grind out the win over a UNI team that's been improving as the season has gone on. Tiffany (Laughlin) has been playing and practicing really well. She has been striking the ball really well and I'm glad we left her in for that overtime period."
Missouri State jumped out to the early lead in just the seventh minute. Senior defender Jennifer Hamlin streaked up the left side after picking up a loose ball. After getting past a couple of UNI defenders, she got to the top of the box. She sent a pass into the box that Michelle Sommer flicked with her heel to an open Laughlin. Laughlin struck a low shot that found the back of the net for a 1-0 MSU lead.
The Bears looked to add to their lead in the 17th minute. Laughlin appeared to have scored again, but MSU was declared offside, nullifying the goal.
UNI responded after the missed opportunity. In the 24th minute, the Panthers earned their third straight corner. Missy Journot found the head of Megan Cameron for the equalizer.
Both teams battled back-and-forth for the remainder of the half and well into the second frame. But neither team could muster the go-ahead goal in regulation. The teams entered overtime with a combined 38 shots.
The Panthers would get the first chance in overtime, but a weak shot was easily gathered in by senior goalkeeper Jessica Teahan, who made five saves on the night.
On the counter attack, Christine Cross gathered in the ball up the right sideline. She beat her defender and found an opening to cross the ball. Her pass found the head of Laughlin who flicked in the game-winner.
Freshman Bethany Smith led MSU with six of the Bears' 21 shots. Laughlin poured in five, while Sommer and Christine Cross each added three shots.
Missouri State will face Illinois State (12-5-0) in the State Farm MVC Tournament Championship match on Sunday at 1:06 p.m. The Redbirds defeated Evansville (4-12-4) in the first semifinal match, 6-0. Earlier this season, MSU knocked off Illinois State at Plaster Field, 1-0, on Sept. 30. For complete information on the MVC Tournament, visit missouristatebears.com/womenssoccer.