JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – The 14th ranked and second-seeded Carson-Newman Eagles fell to the sixth-seeded Lincoln Memorial Railsplitters 5-3 in penalty kicks on Sunday night in the NCAA Southeast Region semifinal match from McCown Field.
Following a 1-1 tie through 110 minutes between the two sides, the Railsplitters (14-4-2) were successful on all five of its penalty kick attempts with Amanda Perez sealing off the win after Ann-Marie O'Connell shut down Alex Brandan moments prior.
The extra session following the two overtime periods ends C-N's (15-4-1) season for the second-consecutive year after Simon Duffy's squad fell in the 2017 National Championship game which ended with the exact same result.
All games that are won on penalty kicks go down as a tie on both teams records excluding the NCAA Title match.
The Eagles were edged at home in the postseason for the first time since 2015, a streak which had lasted seven games. C-N had never been topped in home region semifinal matches holding a perfect 6-0 record entering the day.
"I'm just very proud of the girls and how they went about everything," Coach Duffy said. "When It comes to penalty kicks, I always kind of smile when it goes to that because you never know what's going to happen. You could have the best players or keeper in the world and it just happens the way it does. I was proud of the way we played. Just unfortunate we came up short."
The Eagles broke through in the 20th minute after Magda Mosengo tapped a loose ball to Lara Hallgrimsdottir who immediately unleashed a left-footed shot from the left corner of the 18-yard box. The ball was struck perfectly over the outstretched arms of the Railsplitter goalkeeper Ann-Marie O'Connell, aiming into the back of the net off a portion of the crossbar. With the assist, Mosengo collected at least one point in her final 17 games played as an Eagle.
She finishes her career with 101 points, which ties for third all-time in the history if the program. Her final 2018 line resulted in 48 points on 20 goals and eight assists.
"It means the world to have the fans come out and take time out of their Sunday evening to come support us," Duffy said. "It gave our players a lift and I thought they did a great job for them and I've very thankful for that."
Heading into the 37th minute, LMU's star forward Jessica Cravero was taken down in the box earning her side a penalty kick opportunity. Cravero would be the one to step up and slot it into the lower right side of the net for her team-leading 18th goal of the year.
The game remained knotted at one following the first 45 as the Eagles held the advantage in shots 5-4.
It took nearly 22 minutes into the second half before the first shot would be registered, a frame which resulted in 10 total fouls and a handful of yellow cards between the two teams.
C-N outshot LMU 17-8 on the evening and held the Railsplitters to zero shots combined in both overtimes despite the loss. Sean Fraser's team did not make one substitution all night despite going toe-to-toe in 110 minutes with Lander the day before.
Duffy will graduate eight of his players as now just five players remain on the team who were a part of the program when he arrived prior to last season. His record through two years sits at 36-5-2.
"In my time here its just been surreal," Duffy said. "Those kids have created a culture here. You walk by and see what they've done here in the last four years is incredible. I knew we would have a massive target on our back entering the year following last season and I thought we handled it well. We didn't hide from anybody having the toughest schedule of any team this year. I think the seniors should be very proud of what they have accomplished."
The overall record of each team C-N played in 2018 prior to the NCAA Tournament had a win percentage of .630, the highest of any Division II program in the country.
Our tournament central page has a recap of all three games that took place at McCown Field this past weekend.