Stephen Larson, Creative Services Intern
WARRENSBURG, Mo. – A historic season came to an end for the Northeastern State in PKs to Concordia-St. Paul in the first round of the NCAA Central Region Tournament. The match finished in a 1-1 draw with CSP advancing 3-1 on a shootout.
After going four seasons without going to a shootout, the last three matches for NSU went into sudden death, with heartbreak hitting twice in a row.
The Golden Bears scored just five minutes into the match when Hannah Pavek took a shot from about 30-yards out that snuck over a jumping Ainsley Cunningham. Despite NSU outshooting the Golden Bears in the rest of the half, the match went into halftime with a 1-0 score.
In the second half, it was the RiverHawks getting an equalizer within the first few minutes, as Sarah Rector took a shot from just outside the box that found the top-left corner of the net. It was her fifth goal on the season.
Both teams had scoring chances during the rest of regulation, including a late chance by Paulina Chavez that was called back due to offsides. Neither team could break through after that, and the match went to overtime.
The Golden Bears outshot NSU 4-1 during the extra periods.
Down 2-0 in the shootout, Rector stepped up and beat the Concordia goalkeeper in the upper-right corner to make it 2-1, but the Golden Bears made all three of their attempts to win the shootout 3-1.
The RiverHawks finish the season with a record of 15-4-3, having made the first NCAA Tournament appearance in program history.