With every minute that crept by on a sunny Friday afternoon in Tallahassee, Florida, the Michigan women’s soccer team’s path to its first-ever College Cup grew clearer.
The Wolverines held Florida State, which had averaged three goals a game in its three previous NCAA tournament games, scoreless for 90 minutes, even as they went scoreless, too — sending the game into overtime. Nine minutes ticked by in the extra period.
And then, suddenly, it was over. Beata Olsson — who led FSU with 14 goals in 21 games this year — slammed home the winning goal for Florida State, sending the Seminoles to their 12th College Cup. There was little Michigan goalie Hillary Beall could do, as a lobbed kick at the edge of the box from Jaelin Howell went toward the far post, drawing Beall to that side. There, Gabby Carle tapped it back toward the goal; it bounced off the post, past Beall and right to Olsson’s feet on the line in the middle of the net.
It took 99 minutes but the Noles are victorious!!!
📺: ACCNX pic.twitter.com/RtcYGZ72xf
— FSU Soccer (@FSUSoccer) November 26, 2021
It was a harsh end for a Michigan team in the NCAA quarterfinals for just the third time ever, after winning its first Big Ten tournament title since 1999. Especially after so much went right for the No. 2 seed Wolverines against the No. 1 Seminoles, the defending runners-up.
Olsson threatened the Wolverines’ chances nearly before they began, firing home a shot from a scrum in the ninth minute off a free kick following a whistle on Danielle Wolfe. But Olsson was called offside to keep the score tied at 0-0.
Less then 10 minutes later, Florida State’s Jenna Nighswonger sent a corner kick toward the goal that appeared close to crossing the line before Beall got to it. But a video review said no goal, and play continued scoreless.
BIG TEN CHAMPS! Michigan wins Big Ten tournament for first time since 1999
Michigan had its chances, too, with two long shots, by Raleigh Loughman and Nicki Hernandez, just missing in the first half. But the Wolverines’ biggest chance came 21 minutes into the second half, when Hernandez dribbled past a defender and fired a close shot that FSU goalie Cristina Roque barely stopped.
The Wolverines’ run was threated again in the 74th minute when Jayde Riviere fouled FSU’s Emily Madrill in the box, setting up a penalty kick for Howell. But her kick was stopped by Beall on a dive to her right to keep the game knotted up.
Florida State had one more big scoring chance in regulation, as Clara Robbins sent a shot toward the top right corner. But Beall was there to make the save and ensure overtime.
Beall finished with four saves, as Florida State had 10 shots overall. Michigan had eight total shots, with four saved by Roque. The Seminoles also topped the Wolverines in corners, 7-3.
Florida State will head to Santa Clara, California, for the College Cup, with the national semifinals set for Dec. 3 and the final scheduled for Dec. 5. Michigan, meanwhile, will return to Ann Arbor looking to build on its second quarterfinal appearance in three seasons. (U-M lost to eventual runners-up North Carolina, 4-0, in 2019.)
The rest of the College Cup field is set to be filled out Friday and Saturday night, with No. 1 Duke taking on Santa Clara and No. 1 Rutgers (the Big Ten runners-up) facing No. 2 Arkansas on Friday and No. 4 BYU visiting No. 1 Virginia on Saturday.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan women's soccer bounced from NCAA tournament quarterfinals