Senior Taylor Kenealy’s face told the whole story. She was frustrated, exhausted and as a team, the Mavericks were desperate to score. Everything was on their side, including 17 shots on goal, 11 corner kicks and time of possession.
Even sophomore Jenny Vetter’s goal didn’t do justice for the Mavericks. It took sudden death in penalty kicks for a winner to be crowned in the first round of the NSIC playoffs between No. 13 Minnesota State and University of Mary Marauders.
Forward Malia Brudvik was UMary’s only goal in the game. The Marauders scored one goal on three shots and tallied five corner kicks.
Sophomore goalie Madisyn Waltman was key for the Marauders. She saved four potential game-winning goals and recorded seven saves on the night.
The Mavericks had plenty of opportunities to take the lead. Vetter had a breakaway but couldn’t find the back of the net. The team went into second gear with a minute left in regulation but UMary’s defense held up.
Minnesota State was given one last chance to score, but was unable to capitalize as Waltman secured the ball sending the game into overtime.
In OT, Vetter missed a golden opportunity with two minutes to go to help advance the Mavericks into the second round, shooting a laser that landed out of bounds.
UMary and Minnesota State played their hearts out and were running on fumes.
When the second OT arrived, the coaches, players and fans were getting anxious. Coach Brian Bahl yelled “Urgency” with less than five minutes to go. Vetter tried to score but UMary wouldn’t budge.
It was senior goalkeeper Alexa Rabune who kept the Mavericks season alive in double OT with three minutes to go.
This game wasn’t over yet and it was time for penalty kicks. Sophomore Brynn Desens kicked off penalty kicks with a goal. The Marauders followed and missed. Vetter was up next as she stepped towards the ball, shot and missed.
Both teams scored the rest of the way, putting the game at five PK goals apiece. Then it was sudden death. One team’s season would continue, the others would come to an end.
In sudden death, the crowd let out a gasp as freshman Libby Spangler shot the ball, which hit the crossbar before bouncing on the ground and making its way into the net.
It all came down to Brudvik, who scored the Marauder’s only goal in regulation. The whistle blew and she shot the ball which found the hands of Rabune, leading the Mavericks to 6-5 victory.
Jubilation arose from the bench, as the team rushed to celebrate their win. Meanwhile, UMary’s season came to an end but not without fault. Their defense held down the fort the whole way through.
Next up for Minnesota State is the Augustana Vikings, who they played last year in the second round and won 4-0. Augustana is coming off a 3-1 win against SMSU and will be looking to avenge last year’s loss Friday.
Header photo: Minnesota State forward Jenny Vetter (4) attacks with the ball against University of Mary defender Cassidy Pierce (26) during a game against University of Mary at the Pitch Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019 in Mankato Minn. (Mansoor Ahmad/MSU Reporter)