ORLANDO, Fla. – With penalty kicks even at three scores and one miss apiece, Teagan Micah saved Duke’s final shot to give the Bruins a chance at the National Championship.
The sophomore goalkeeper’s save put freshman midfielder Marley Canales in position to sink women’s soccer’s game-clinching penalty kick and send the Bruins to the NCAA championships.
She did exactly that.
“I can’t say enough about how hard that is to do, coming in cold off the bench and being the fifth kicker,” said coach Amanda Cromwell. “A lot of players shy away from those moments.”
No. 2-seed UCLA beat No. 1-seed Duke on penalty kicks Friday night at Orlando City Stadium. Neither side was able to draw blood in regular play or in the two 10-minute overtime periods.
“I thought our girls did a good job with being patient, almost a little too patient – the rhythm wasn’t there at times,” Cromwell said. “It was tough to get a quality chance on goal.”
Overtime began with the Bruins charging toward Blue Devil territory. UCLA has a 2-0-1 record for playing in overtime this season, with its most recent 1-0 overtime win against Northwestern in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Blue Devils drew three fouls in the first period of overtime as both sides tried to get on the board. Duke ended the game with nine fouls, while UCLA had seven.
Both teams launched into an aggressive attack at the whistle. UCLA made it inside the Duke box within the first 15 minutes of regulation, but ultimately wasn’t able to score. The Bruins outshot Duke 4-1 in the first half, but ultimately both teams were unable to find the back of the net.
”(The Bruins) are a handful, no question about it,” said Duke coach Robbie Church. “They’re challenging in a lot of different positions. And they’re young.”
At the start of the second half, both teams went on the offensive. The Bruins and Blue Devils logged a total of five shots within the first 15 minutes, but to no avail. The second half would end as the first – scoreless.
Stanford ousted South Carolina 2-0 earlier Friday in a semifinal matchup between two No. 1 seeds to earn a spot in the championship match Sunday. The Cardinal and Bruins will play for the title at 3 p.m. in a match that will break the national championship tie between the two schools.