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Thursday, December 1, 2022

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Aztecs Advance to MW Semis After Penalty Shootout

SDSU Women's Soccer broke through the deadlock for the win.
By GoAztecs
 

After 22 rounds of penalty kicks, San Diego State women's soccer (7-5-8) advanced to the semifinal round of the Mountain West Tournament on Sunday evening, 0 (19) - 0 (18). The Aztecs converted 19 of their spot kicks compared to Utah State (8-5-8) who made 18.

With the match tied at 0-0 after neither side could find a goal in regulation or in either overtime period, the two sides faced off in a penalty shootout. Each team were able to make their opening nine spot kicks, but in the 10th round both keepers came away with saves. Two rounds later, Emma Gaines-Ramos missed her penalty kick to give the Aggies the advantage. Alexa Madueno then came up big with a save to send the match to a 13th round of penalty kicks.

The process repeated itself in the 15th round when after SDSU had their penalty saved, Jordan Forker of Utah State saw her shot come off the crossbar to send the shootout to a 16th round. Neither team would miss again until the 22nd round when after Rachelle Elve slotted home the Aztecs 19th spot kick, Madueno in net for the Aztecs dove to her left to stop Utah State's 22nd round kick and send the Aztecs to the semifinals of the Mountain West tournament.

In total 44 penalty kicks were taken during the shootout, and 37 of those kicks were scored as the Aztecs emerged victorious after a marathon of spot kicks.
 
Earlier in regulation the Aztecs were on the front foot for most of the match. In the 10th minute the Aztecs thought they had found the opener 10 minutes into the match. Off a Utah State turnover, Rachelle Elve pounced on the loose ball and fired a shot from outside the box that smashed off the bar and back into play. The ball caromed off the crossbar and fell to Olivia Sekimoto who's follow up shot hit the frame of the goal and bounced back into play, and the match stayed level, 0-0.

Later in the half in the 44th minute, Madueno showed a preview of what was to come. After a foul in the box, Utah State was awarded a penalty, but the spot kick was saved by Madueno who dove to her right to make the stop and the match headed to halftime scoreless.

In the second half Elve came closest in the 64th minute to breaking the deadlock for the Aztecs, but her shot was hit right at the Aggies goalkeeper, who saved it well. San Diego State had a penalty shout of their own in the 74th minute. Carlin Blake was fouled in the box, but the ensuing Aztec penalty from Lauren Dicus was saved by the Utah State goalkeeper.
 
Neither team was able to break the deadlock in regulation or in overtime and the match then headed for penalty kicks where the Aztecs emerged from the madness with a 19-18 penalty shootout win in 22 rounds.
 
Up Next: The Aztecs will play the No. 1 seed Wyoming on Wednesday at 4 p.m. MT in the semifinals of the Mountain West Conference tournament.