LINCOLN–(NU Athletics Nov. 17)–The fifth-seeded Nebraska soccer team scored late in both halves to defeat Tennessee 2-1 in a thrilling second-round NCAA Tournament match Friday night in front of the second-largest crowd (2,318) at Barbara Hibner Stadium.
Sarah Weber gave Nebraska a 1-0 lead heading into the locker room when she scored her 15th goal of the season with only 20 seconds remaining in the first half. Tennessee tied the score less than four minutes into the second half, and the match appeared headed for overtime before Ella Guyott scored the game-winner with 1:01 remaining for the first goal of her career.
With the win, Nebraska (16-3-3) advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004. The Huskers will take on UC Irvine Sunday at Hibner Stadium at 1 p.m. The Anteaters advanced with a pair of upset victories over No. 1 seed UCLA (1-0) and No. 8 seed Gonzaga (2-1).
Nebraska enjoyed a 12-8 advantage in shots over Tennessee and a 5-2 edge in shots on goal. Jordan Zade had the game-winning assist on Guyott’s goal, while goalkeeper Sami Hauk made one save.
Tennessee ended its season with a 9-7-4 record.
The potent Husker offense – ranked in the top 10 nationally in goals, shots and shots on goals per game – did not record its first shot until the 21st minute when Eleanor Dale sent a volley over the net. Thirteen minutes later, a shot off the foot of Gwen Lane in the 34th minute sailed just high.
Nebraska gained momentum toward the end of the first half, keeping possession and earning two corner kicks in the final seven minutes. The increased pressure paid off in the closing seconds when Tennessee goalkeeper Ally Zazzara had an unfortunate slip while taking a goal kick. Due to the slip, the kick did not make it out of the box and Weber won a footrace to the loose ball and slid a shot into the bottom of the net to give Nebraska a 1-0 lead with only 20 seconds remaining in the first half.
The Huskers outshot the Lady Vols 4-2 in the opening half, with each team placing one shot on goal.
The second half started out much more offensive-minded, as Tennessee had a shot just 35 seconds into the period, and Nebraska’s Lauryn Anglim forced a save with her shot just 1:25 into the half. The Lady Vols then took advantage of a missed Husker clearance when Macaira Midgley found the ball at her feet inside the box and sent a shot into the net for the equalizer at 48:11.
The Huskers nearly answered three minutes later. Weber sent a cross into the box that was deflected by Tennessee and Dale just missed connecting on the deflection at the back post. Nebraska continued to pressure, earning a pair of corner kicks less than a minute apart in the 56th and 57th minutes.
In the 62nd minute, Zade sent in a perfect cross into the box and Dale rose to get her header on frame, but the shot was saved by Zazzara. Dale used a phenomenal effort to get her head on another cross in the 81st minute, but the shot sailed high as Dale left the match and did not return after colliding head with Tennessee’s Sheridan Michel.
In the 82nd minute, Florence Belzile worked her way through the Lady Vol defense and sent a shot just wide. Nebraska kept the pressure on and it culminated with Guyott’s game-winning goal with 1:01 remaining. Zade sent in a cross that found its way to the back post where Guyott calmly put it home to give Nebraska a 2-1 advantage.
Tennessee stormed back, earning a corner kick just 32 seconds later. In a last-gap effort, the Lady Vols got off a final shot with seven seconds left but it was blocked and cleared by the Husker defense.