Bridgeport, Conn.-For the second time in three days, the University of Massachusetts Lowell River Hawks advanced to the next round of the NCAA Division II Women's Soccer Championship Tournament by winning a penalty kick shootout, as fourth seeded UML topped the East Region's number one seed, and number three team in the nation, the host University of Bridgeport Purple Knights, 3-2, in the shootout after the two teams battle to a 1-1 draw through two overtimes. The game officially goes on each team's record as a tie. UB ends the 2011 season with a 16-0-2 mark, and the River Hawks move on in the NCAA Division II Tournament with an 11-5-4 mark. On Friday, UMass Lowell advanced on penalty kicks (5-3) after playing a 0-0 tie with Dowling College.
In the shootout, Bridgeport's Marie Pettersson (Sr., Amal, Sweden) took the first shot and beat UML keeper Jane Hatzikonstantis. River Hawk junior Taylor Hartman responded by beating Bridgeport goalkeeper Julia Hansson (So., Tockfors, Sweden) to keep things level after one round. In the second round, UB's Kasey Kenny (Sr., Staten Island, N.Y.) has stopped by Hatzikonstantis, but UML's Maddy Bissaillon missed the target to keep things at 1-1.
Round three began with a miss by the Purple Knights' Katie Stanley (Sr. Oxford, England), and then Brittany Russo gave UMass Lowell a 2-1 lead when her shot hit the left post and trickled back across the goal line.
Freshman Jenny Hwang (Manchester, Conn.) tied things for Bridgeport at 2-2 to start the fourth round before UML's Casey Schulze forced UB into a must-make kick to start the fifth round when she found the back of the net to make the shootout score, 3-2.
Unfortunately for Bridgeport fans, junior Julia Colley (Harlow, England) missed the target to send UMass Lowell into the next round of NCAA Championship play where they will face the College of St. Rose.
The River Hawks dominated the first half of play holding a 16-5 advantage in shots, but the game was tied 0-0 at the half as Bridgeport keeper Hansson made six of her game total of 10 saves in the first 45 minutes.
UML's Brittany Russo scored her tenth goal of the season to give the River Hawks a 1-0 lead in the 65th minute when her long shot just slipped under Hansson's grasp. The goal marked the first time all season that Bridgeport has trailed in a match.
UB battled back to tie things at 1-1, as junior Becky Wallis (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) scored her first goal of the season with 5:20 to play in regulation when she poked home a free kick taken by Marie Pettersson after a scramble in the middle of the goal box.
Along with her fine play in the shootout, UML's goalkeeper Hatzikonstantis made three saves.