Erie, PA - The D'Youville women's soccer team went to a shootout in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference semi-finals against the number one seeded Penn State-Behrend Lions on Wednesday afternoon with the Lions advancing on penalty kicks 4-2.
Throughout the entire game, the Lions dominated possession. Within the first 20 minutes of action, Behrend had recorded seven shots on goal and two corner kicks. As the half wore on, the Lions would total 16 shots, 10 of which were on goal. They added five corner kicks to D'Youville's one shot and one corner kick. Despite being outshot and out possessed, the Spartans were able to shutout the conference's highest scoring team in the first half and the teams went into half tied 0-0.
As unlikely as it seemed, the Lions stepped up their game in the second half. Behrend outshot D'Youville 25-4 in the second 45 minutes of play, but goalkeeper Megan Dulniak (Cheektowaga, NY/Cheektowaga) stood tall in goal making an additional 10 saves. The entire D'Youville defense was firm against wave after wave of Lion attacks, continuing to shut their high-scoring opponent down. At the end of regulation, it remained a scoreless tie.
In the first OT period, Behrend again was dangerous on offense as they outshot D'Youville 6-0 with one of those shots was on goal. However Dulniak took the challenge head-on and kept the Lions out of the goal as the game moved to the second overtime.
The stifling D'Youville defense allowed just two shots in the second OT and Dulniak easily handled them both. One shot was registered from the Spartans but they were unable to seize the opportunity. After 1:10:00, the defensive gridlock went to penalty kicks.
Behrend went first in the shootout and put the first ball of the game past Dulniak. D'Youville answered with one of their two leading goal scorers, Marina Campbell (Niagara Falls, NY/Niagara-Catholic), who scored to tie the shootout at 1-1. The Lions then scored their second straight to take the lead, but the other leading goal scorer for the Spartans, Magan Magee (Ellenburg Center, NY/Northern Adirondack), tied it at 2-2.
Dulniak came up huge in the next attempt from the Lions. The junior keeper went left to stop the shot of the AMCC's leading scorer to give D'Youville the advantage. However the Behrend keeper would make the save with the Spartans up next and the score would remain 2-2.
With the Lions converting their next chance to take a 3-2 lead, the next attempt from the Spartans hit the crossbar and D'Youville was in danger of being eliminated. The next shot, Behrend took the shootout 4-2 and won the game to advance to the AMCC championship game.
With 28 saves, Dulniak set the single game record for saves and with her ninth shutout of the year she fell one behind the single season record. A complete defensive effort was required to shutout the best offense in the conference. Jenna Tomizzi (Buffalo, NY/Sacred Heart Academy), Dominique Riforgiato (Fredonia, NY/Fredonia), Kiernan Johnson (Cherry Valley, IL/Keith School), Cassandra Brooks (Grand Island, NY/Grand Island), Magee, and Kaylee Heschke (Newfane, NY/Newfane) all clogged up the middle for Behrend and played well on the outside.
Offensively, the women totaled six shots in the game – three of which were on goal. Makenna Magee (Ellenburg Center, NY/Northern Adirondack) led the team with three shots while Johnson, Brittany Cristofanelli (Niagara Falls/Niagara-Wheatfield) and Amber Lundrigan (Rome, NY /Rome Free Academy) each had one shot. Jillian Golding (Lockport, NY/Lockport) and Isabella Lucania (Webster, NY/Webster Schroeder) both played valuable minutes for the team as well.