AXTON, Va. — Pernilla Milton's goal with 1:37 to play helped top-seeded Averett University escape with a 2-1 win over No. 4 seed Meredith College on Friday and send the Cougars into Saturday's USA South Conference Tournament championship game.
Averett (16-3) will play Christopher Newport University on Saturday at 5 p.m. at the Smith River Sports Complex near Martinsville in the league finals.
Meredith (13-7) looked to pull the upset when it took a 1-0 lead in the 30th minute on Taylor Brown's unassisted goal. The Avenging Angels held that lead through halftime and midway through the second period thanks in part to junior goalkeeper Kelsey Hopper, who posted three key saves in the first period for a game-total eight.
Averett tied the game in the 70th minute when Sandra Johansson scored off a pass from Nadja Sandau and gave the Cougars a needed lift after the regular season champs had been shut out for most of the game.
It appeared as though the game would head to overtime until Milton played the role of hero. With under two minutes to play, Milton got the ball near the left post, worked her way around the Hopper and netted the game-winner. Averett then held off a last charge by Meredith in the final seconds to preserve the win and send the Cougars to their second conference championship game in three seasons.