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Soccer Headed to USA South Championship Match

Jessica Wallace
Photo credit to David Hilbert at d3soccer.com

MARYVILLE, Tenn. -- In Friday night's second semifinal pairing of the USA South Women's Soccer Tournament, the East #2 Meredith College Avenging Angels upset the host West #1 Maryville Scots 2-1 in overtime to advance to the championship match. Jessica Wallace scored the game winning goal with 5:23 left in the extra period.

Meredith will face off with East #4 Methodist University, who upset West #3 Covenant during the first semifinal pairing with a 1-0 victory. The championship is slated for a 6 p.m. start Saturday night in Maryville.

Maryville's offensive pressure kept Angel keeper Jaisa Loch busy in the box throughout the first half with eight shots to Meredith's three. The Scots best opportunity hit the crossbar in the 16th minute with a header on the bounce back that floated just wide of the left post.

A minute later the Meredith defense thwarted another Scot drive down the left side of the field by Shannon Reagan, as Maryville was unable to get off a shot.

On the other end Sam Litt launched a shot down field from deep in the center and an intercepted header drove the Scots back through the middle for a quick counter attack. Loch sprinted from the goal to reach the ball first in order to deflate the opportunity. 

Early in the second period Kirstie King stroked a free kick from 30 yards out but the flat shot pushed wide of the the goal. Minutes later Maryville's Kara Tubb nearly slipped one past Loch, who collected her fifth save of the match.

Samantha Litt put the Angels on the board in the 52nd minute of the match when she finished off a free kick from King on the right sideline.

With just over 24 minutes remaining in regulation, Angel defender Molly Thomas intercepted a long attempt from the Scots and kicked out to Jessica Wallace. Wallace drove the length of the field and found Hannah Elvington open on the wing, but Elvington's attempt moved just wide of the bar.

Maryville's Hannah Clothier evened the score unassisted with just under 16 minutes left in the match, and both teams elevated their intensity with a championship invitation on the line.

With 3:36 left on the clock, Loch recorded an impressive stop on a close shot by Maryville's Reagan. Loch managed to hold on to the ball as Reagan followed her shot inches from the line.

Regulation expired to force the first 10-minute sudden victory overtime period. But the Angels waisted no time as Wallace battled through the Maryville defense for a short shot into the left corner of the box for the win.

Follow the live action tomorrow from the USA South Tournament Central.

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