San Diego, Calif. --- The San José State women’s soccer team is the 2015 Mountain West champion after it made four penalty kicks against San Diego State’s two in the title match at the SDSU Sports Deck.
Once again, freshman keeper Paige Simoneau came off the bench having not played in the entire match, and stopped SDSU’s second PK attempt. After the Aztecs’ third try went off the left post, it came down to Darriell Franklin, who put the shot in the back of the net to send SJSU to its first NCAA Tournament since 2000.
“I just had a feeling we were going to win,” said SJSU head coach Lauren Hanson. “Our team just knew it and believed it all along. It’s kind of surreal. This really happened, and we believed it.”
Despite logging just three minutes of gametime, Simoneau is the Mountain West Tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Together with Thursday night’s semifinal match, she stopped a total of three PKs.
While Simoneau stopped three, her fellow freshman Franklin netted three. Her third and final one being the championship-clinching try.
“I’ve never been good at taking PK’s, so I was very nervous taking them,” Franklin said. “I had to just keep myself composed and understand that I was doing this for the team. It’s very exciting because we really believed in ourselves. Coming in we were predicted to finish seventh, and we ended up second. And now we won the Mountain West Conference Championship.”
San José State (10-7-4) trailed San Diego State (15-4-1) 1-0 from the eighth minute until the 90th minute, when a handball in the box was called on the Aztecs.
Zoe Makrigiannis came out of the SJSU goal to take the free kick from deep outside the top left corner of the box. She launched the ball high and into a swarm of players from both teams in front of the goal where an Aztec player got a hand on it.
Franklin lined up the penalty shot, and drilled it, sending the Spartans to overtime with new life.
Neither team’s attacks were successful in the 20 minutes of overtime, extending the drama into penalty kicks for the second time in as many matches at the tournament for the Spartans.
“It’s a pretty crazy story,” Hanson said. “It’s just a great team effort. What happened this week is what being a team is all about. When my staff and I started here, we talked about how important building trust, belief and love among our players. And that’s exactly what got us to this point.”
But this isn’t the end. The Spartans’ NCAA Tournament destination will be determined Monday in the Division I Selection Show scheduled to air at 1:30 p.m. PST on NCAA.com.
Soccer Game Summary (Final)
2015 San José State Women's Soccer
San Jose State vs San Diego State (Nov 07, 2015 at San Diego, Calif.)
San Jose State (10-7-4) vs. San Diego State (15-4-1)
Date: Nov 07, 2015 Attendance: 872
Weather: Clear, mild
Goals by period 1 2 OT O2 SO Tot
San Jose State 0 1 0 0 0 1
San Diego State 1 0 0 0 0 1
1 8:52 SDSU MOSES, Milan (6) (BARBA, Victoria) - Off of a free kick, eight yards out
2 89:17 SJ Franklin, Darriell (6) Penalty kick
San Jose State: 8/Y 10/Y 9/Y 12/Y
San Diego State: 21/Y 13/N 8/N 5/Y
San Jose State wins shootout 4-2
Shots: San Jose State 9, San Diego State 12
Saves: San Jose State 1 (Makrigiannis, Zoe 1), San Diego State 4
(VAUGHN, Melanie 4)
2015 Mountain West Women’s Soccer All-Tournament Team
Sarah Schweiss, Sr., M, Colorado College
Alexis Long, Sr., M, Colorado College
Emily Chavez, So., D, New Mexico
Madisyn Olguin, Sr., F, New Mexico
Ashley Hauke, Sr., D, San Diego State
Milan Moses, Fr., M/F, San Diego State
Melanie Vaughn, Sr., GK, San Diego State
Claire Berkley, So., D, San José State
Darriell Franklin, Fr., F, San José State
Dorthe Hoppius,, So., F, San José State
Paige Simoneau, Fr., GK, San José State
Most Valuable Player: Paige Simoneau, Fr., GK, San José State