Emily Hirano’s Golden Overtime Goal Sends Eagles to SoCon Tournament Final
BIRMINGHAM, ALA. – The 2012 season will continue for Georgia Southern Women’s Soccer after the eighth-seeded Eagles took a 1-0 win over fifth-seeded Elon on Friday evening in the Semifinals of the SoCon Tournament. GSU out-shot the Phoenix in regulation, but scored the game-winner on a cross which was headed home by freshman Emily Hirano in the 102nd minute. GSU will make its third appearance in the SoCon Tournament Final on Sunday afternoon against Furman with the Eagles seeking their first league title in program history. The match can be seen on ESPN3.com starting from 2 p.m. (ET)
“We felt like we came out a bit nervous tonight, but that’s to be expected in a semifinal,” said head coach Lindsey Vanderspiegel. “Once we settled down and played our game, it looked much better. In the second half it felt like we could have had one or two goals go in, but in overtime I feel like we really dictated the game.”
Both teams had plenty of scoring chances, but neither team was able to find the back of the net for the first 90 minutes of the match. GSU out-shot Elon 11-4 overall and 5-3 in the shots on goal category.
With 13 minutes remaining in regulation Elon thought it had scored the go-ahead goal from the edge of the penalty area, but a foul on the Phoenix negated the goal and kept the teams level at 0-0 entering the waning minutes.
The Eagles had the final scoring chance of regulation, but for the fifth time this season, GSU went to overtime.
After a scoreless first overtime period, GSU needed just 67 seconds of the second overtime to score the winning goal. Senior Courtney Collins brought the ball forward down the wing and delivered a cross into the center of the box and Hirano’s head. The freshman headed the ball into the left side of the net for the third time this season, keeping the Eagles’ season.
“I’ve got to give a lot of credit to Elon’s team, they’ve had a great year,” said Vanderspiegel. “Now we set our sights on Sunday’s Championship Game.”
With a spot in the SoCon Tournament Final cemented, the Eagles will face Furman in the league’s championship game. GSU will start its fight for the program’s first league Championship on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. (ET) from Samford’s Track & Soccer Complex. The match can be seen live on ESPN3.com
- Category: Women's Soccer
- Published on Friday, 02 November 2012 20:48