Owls Upset Top-Seeded Eagles; Advance to Women's @ASUNSoccer Championship Final

Owls Upset Top-Seeded Eagles; Advance to Women's @ASUNSoccer Championship Final

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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- In Sunday's semifinal action of the 2019 ASUN Conference Women's Soccer Championship, No. 5 Kennesaw State upset top-seeded FGCU on penalty kicks by a 2-1 margin after the teams played to a 2-2 double-overtime draw at the FGCU Soccer Complex in Fort Myers, Fla. The Owls are now 11-7-1 on the season and advance to the championship final for the first time since 2014 where they lost 3-1 to the Eagles.

Kara Kyramarios gave FGCU an early 1-0 lead on a penalty kick goal after KSU's Carly Pressgrove was called for a yellow card in the box. ASUN Player of the Year Evdokia Popadinova extended the Eagles' advantage to 2-0 at the end of the first half with a shot over the head of Owl goalkeeper Tiffany Sornpao in the 44th minute shortly before halftime.

In the 53rd minute, conference Freshman of the Year Becky Contreras netted Kennesaw State's first goal off an assist from Emely Sosa. Six minutes later, Pressgrove evened the match with an unassisted goal and the 2-2 score held throughout the end of regulation and two 10-minute overtime periods.

Both teams missed their first shootout attempts with Popadinova and Jenna Vollrath coming up empty for the Eagles and Owls, respectively. Lindsey Patton failed on the next attempt for FGCU but Isabella Contreras connected for the Owls. Alyssa Abbondandolo evened the score 1-1 before Becky Contreras beat FGCU's keeper Melissa Weck to give KSU a 2-1 advantage. After two more missed shots, the match ended when Sornpao stopped the Eagles' last attempt from Marjorie Boilesen.

Turning Point

Kennesaw State goalkeeper Tiffany Sornpao turned back the final shootout attempt from FGCU by diving to block a shot from Marjorie Boilesen. Sornpao only allowed one of the Eagles' five shots to get past her in the shootout.

Scoring Summary

  • 9:57 - Kara Kyramarios, FGCU (penalty kick)
  • 43:38 - Evdokia Popadinova, FGCU (Marjorie Boilesen)
  • 52:34 - Becky Contreras, KSU (Emely Sosa)
  • 58:28 - Carly Pressgrove, KSU (unassisted)
  • Shootout - Isabella Contreras, KSU
  • Shootout - Alyssa Abbondandolo, FGCU
  • Shootout - Becky Contreras, KSU

Inside The Box Score

  • FGCU's Melissa Weck recorded 10 saves while Tiffany Sornpao made three for Kennesaw State.
  • The Owls had 20 shots in the match with 12 on target compared to 14 and five for the Eagles.
  • The teams were even with four corner kicks apiece and combined for a total of 38 fouls (KSU 20, FGCU 18).
  • Evdokia Popadinova had two shots for the Eagles. Becky Contreras and Erin Harris both had four shots for the Owls, while Carly Pressgrove recorded three.

News & Notes

  • Kennesaw State is the first No. 5 seed since 2006 to advance to the finals of the ASUN Championship (Jacksonville).
  • The Owls are the first team since 2008 to advance to the finals on penalty kicks. 
  • Kennesaw State is riding a four-match winning streak and is 6-2-0 in its last eight matches.
  • KSU is now 10-9-3 all-time in ASUN Championship history.
  • FGCU only lost one match at home during the regular season (2-1 vs. La Salle, Sept. 5). 
  • This is the first championship in which the Eagles have not reached the finals after entering as the top seed.

Up Next

The Owls face No. 2 seed Lipscomb at the Lipscomb Soccer Complex on Nov. 9, in Nashville, Tenn., for the ASUN Championship Title. The match can be seen live on ESPN+. FGCU concludes its season with an 11-4-2 record.

The ASUN Conference is an NCAA Division I league with nine member institutions committed to Building Winners for Life. The ASUN meets the challenge of maintaining the highest standards in academic and athletic achievement through a true balance between student and athlete. Six ASUN schools reside in Nielsen Top 50 national media markets, and all nine are in top 80 markets. The ASUN includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Liberty University, Lipscomb University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, University of North Alabama, University of North Florida and Stetson University. Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky., joins the ASUN for the 2020-21 academic year.