No. 20 Tennessee loses heartbreaker to Washington State

Tennessee concludes its season after losing to Washington St. in penalty kicks in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

No. 20 Tennessee lost to the Washington State Cougars 2-2 (1-4, PKs) on Friday afternoon in a Round of 32 NCAA Tournament matchup at the Donald R. Dizney Stadium in Gainesville, Florida. The game marks the first meeting between the two teams since a 2005 regular season matchup when Washington State defeated Tennessee 3-2 in overtime.

In last week’s NCAA Tournament first round play, Tennessee defeated Murray St. 2-0 while Washington St. upset the No. 2 seed UCF 1-0 en-route to the second round.

In the first half, both teams battled back-and-forth as they settled into the game. Tennessee had an early opportunity in the 10th minute when redshirt freshman Erin Gilroy had a shot-on-goal, but the shot was blocked by a Washington St. defender. Freshman Wrenne French’s rebound attempt was easily saved by the Cougar goalkeeper.

In the 13th minute, Washington St.’s Morgan Weaver would score near-post past the outstretched hand of goalie Shae Yanez. Weaver’s seventh goal of the season put Washington St. up 1-0.

Tennessee would tie the game 1-1 in the 20th minute when junior Danielle Marcano headed the ball in the back-of-the-net off a corner kick from redshirt sophomore Katie Cousins. Marcano wouldn’t be done scoring as she added a second goal in the 30th minute to put Tennessee up 2-1. The score remained 2-1 heading into the break.

Similar to the start of the first half, the second half opened with more back-and-forth action between the two sides. Marcano had the opportunity for a hat-trick in 62nd minute, but her shot narrowly missed wide of the goal.

The Cougars wouldn’t go away as Kelsee Crenshaw scored a goal off an impressive long range shot in the 79th minute to tie the game at 2-2.

Washington St. would have the best opportunity at a game-winning goal in the 88th minute when Weaver delivered a long-range shot-on-goal. Yanez made the crucial save to keep the score at 2-2 as the game headed into overtime.

Per NCAA Tournament rules, one “golden goal” is needed for a team to win the game. The game would end the second a goal is scored, but neither team was able to score in two ten-minute overtimes. The game would go into penalty kicks.

Prior to the penalty kicks, Tennessee made a switch in-goal putting in freshman Ashley Orkus. Tennessee would be outscored 4-1 with Washington St. goalie Ella Dederick making three crucial saves to help the Cougars win.

Washington St. will now move on to the round of 16 and will await the winner of between No. 3 Florida and South Florida. The round of 16 game is set for Sunday at 2 p.m. ET in Gainesville.

Tennessee was without junior Khadija Shaw who suffered an apparent head injury in the game against Murray State last weekend. Shaw leads the team in goal with 14 goals on the season.

The Lady Vols will conclude an impressive 2017 season with a record of 15-4-2. The team will say goodbye to seniors Ariel Kupritz and Michele Christy leaving behind a strong, core group to build on for the 2018 season.

Edited by Seth Raborn

Feature image courtesy of UT Sports