Nashville, Tenn. - Although it was eliminated from Atlantic Sun Conference tournament contention earlier in the afternoon, the Stetson women's soccer team (4-11-2, 3-5-1 A-Sun) managed to exit the 2011 season with a victory. The Hatters used a 92nd-minute penalty kick goal from senior midfielder Alexis Hermosa (Orlando, Fla.) to win 2-1 in overtime at A-Sun rival Lipscomb (4-13-1, 2-7-0 A-Sun) on Sunday.
Stetson needed to win at Lipscomb and to couple that victory with an ETSU win over Mercer, a USC Upstate tie or win against Kennesaw State and to make up a -3 goal differential with Mercer entering the day in order to claim the #6 seed in the upcoming A-Sun tournament and qualify for the ninth season in a row. Although the first two criteria were achieved, the latter two were not and Stetson will be on the sidelines for the postseason for the first time since 2002.
Lipscomb took an early 1-0 lead on a Meghan McGuire goal in the 16th minute, but freshman forward Katie O'Kennedy (Oviedo, Fla.) erased that less than four minutes later by tapping home the rebound of her own shot off Lady Bisons goalkeeper Erin Zerio.
Neither team scored for the rest of the half or the entire second half, sending the match to overtime. When a foul inside the 18-yard box resulted in Hermosa burying the penalty kick past Zerio, the Hatters claimed their fourth win of the season and their first in overtime since beating Elon 1-0 on September 17, 2006 at Jacksonville. Today's victory snapped a 14-match winless streak in matches extending beyond 90 minutes. Hermosa and O'Kennedy finished tied for the team scoring lead with six goals apiece.
Senior goalkeeper Grace Turner (Fort Myers, Fla.) made three saves in the victory; Zerio had five for Lipscomb. Stetson out-shot the Lady Bisons 17-9 and had a 4-3 advantage on corner kicks.
Stetson is slated to return seven of its top eight scorers for the 2012 season, including leading scorer O'Kennedy (six goals, three assists).
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