Nov. 5, 2007
Greetings Cards Fans!
It was a tremendous regular season. A record of 12-4-2 had put us into a position to host the Big East quarterfinals against long time rival Marquette. Having battled them earlier in the season to a 2-2 tie we knew that it was going to take a strong performance to come out victorious, and we were committed to giving everything we had to keep our season rolling on to Morgantown, WV for the Big East semifinals.
Marquette has shown all year that they bring an immense amount of energy from the opening whistle, and they proved it once again as they attacked from the kickoff and managed to get a shot on goal just seconds into the match. We remained unfazed, though, and quickly settled ourselves into the match. Soon our attack began to come alive, and we were able to take advantage just 18 minutes into the game.
Mallory Lampson played a long ball forward looking to connect with one of our forwards. The Marquette center back stepped forward to head the ball away, but she headed it right to forward Caitlin Rehder who brought the ball down and ran at the last defender. As Rehder touched the ball past the defender just inside the 18 yard box the defender lunged and fouled Rehder as she made her way toward goal, earning us a penalty kick. Freshman Kate Cunningham stepped up to take the penalty kick, and despite never having previously scored in her college career she confidently picked out the lower right corner of the net to give us a crucial 1-0 lead.
The rest of the first half remained a back and forth encounter. Both teams had shots and forced the opposing goalkeeper to make saves, but most of the chances were from long range and were not threatening. We went into halftime with the 1-0 lead, but we knew we could not rest on our advantage in the second half.
As the second half wore on Marquette threw more and more numbers into the attack in hopes of finding an equalizer, and as they committed numbers forward holes began to open up in their defense that provided us with opportunities to extend our lead. We nearly sealed the victory in the 79th minute when Monique Gjini received a great ball in behind and cracked a shot from just inside the box. The Marquette goalkeeper had come out to narrow the angle and made a very good reaction save to parry the ball wide of the goal, but it bounced across to the backpost where Rehder was sprinting to get on the end of it. She managed to head the ball on target, but the goalkeeper once again did well to recover back and make the save.
In the final ten minutes Rehder had one more chance to finish the game off, as she once again dribbled her way through the Marquette defense and into the box. She had the chance to slot the ball across to Shannon Smyth who was joining in at the backpost, but Rehder elected to go it alone and take the shot herself. Unfortunately her effort went over the goal, and the score remained 1-0.
While we would have hoped to secure the game earlier on by finishing one of our chances we once again made ourselves difficult to score on and were able to come away with a 1-0 win. We have now tied the school record for wins in a season with 13, set the school record for shutouts with 12, and are moving on to the Big East final four for the first time since moving to the Big East in 2003.
With our victory comes a semifinal matchup with West Virginia in Morgantown on Friday, November 9th at 7:30pm. The game will be telecast live on CSTV, and we hope you will tune in to cheer us on!
All the best!