RIO GRANDE, Ohio — There must be something about overtime contests that appeals to the University of Rio Grande women’s soccer team.
Head coach Tony Daniels’ club ventured beyond regulation for the sixth time this season and was the beneficiary of a Kelsey Lee goal just over three minutes into the extra session which produced a 2-1 win over Cincinnati Christian University in the quarterfinal round of the River States Conference Women’s Soccer Tournament, Saturday night, at Evan E. Davis Field.
The RedStorm, who are seeded fourth in the six-team tourney, improved to 9-8-1 with the win and advanced to Wednesday night’s semifinal round where a showdown with top-seeded West Virginia University-Tech awaits.
Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. at the YMCA/Paul Cline Soccer Complex in Beckley, W.Va. Rio played the Golden Bears to a 1-1 draw at home on Oct. 14 in their regular season meeting.
Fifth-seeded Cincinnati Christian, which suffered a 2-1 double-overtime loss at Rio in regular season play just nine days earlier, finished its season at 8-8-3.
Lee, a junior from West Chester, Ohio, netted the game-winning marker by making a move past a CCU defender just inside the top right corner of the 18-yard box and then whistling a shot past Eagles net-minder Kendra Steepe with 3:04 gone in the overtime period.
The goal was Lee’s second of the game and her sixth of the season, tying freshman Payten Davis (Chillicothe, OH) for the team lead.
The victory also allowed the RedStorm to improve to 5-0-1 in overtime games this season.
Cincinnati Christian actually drew first blood in the match when Kassandra Kiley scored on a nifty side kick from 12 yards out on the right wing, giving the Eagles a 1-0 with 15:26 left in the first half.
That’s how things stayed until Lee tallied the equalizer, gathering in a crossing pass from Davis and sending a shot past Steepe and into the back of the net with 13:55 remaining in the game.
Kiley managed another shot on goal for CCU just under two minutes later, but that was the only scoring opportunity that either team managed over the rest of regulation time.
Rio Grande finished with a commanding 23-12 advantage in shots, but had just a 6-5 edge in shots on frame.
The RedStorm also enjoyed a 7-3 cushion in corner kick chances.
Junior keeper Andrea Vera (Quito, Ecuador), who had missed Rio’s three previous outings due to injury, recorded four saves in her return to the lineup.
Steepe also had four saves in a losing cause for the Eagles, who dressed just 11 players for the contest.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.