SANTA CLARITA, Calif. --- Katie Rumfola came up with a big save, and three-time All-GSAC Jacquelyn Witz converted the final penalty kick of the fifth and final round to lift the NAIA's No. 9-ranked California Baptist University past No. 7 The Master's and into the GSAC Tournament Finals for the first time Friday afternoon.
The Lancers won the shootout, 4-3, but the result officially goes into the books as a 1-1 tie.
This one was a far cry from the 4-1 thumping the Mustangs handed the Lancers in Riverside a month ago. It was as good of a game between two top 10 teams as there could be.
"This was playoff soccer at its best," said CBU Head Coach Kristen St. Clair. "It was exactly what you would expect it to be. It's not easy to go on the road, especially in a big playoff game against a good team like The Master's. I'm especially proud of the girls today."
The Lancers out-shot The Master's, but it was just a 19-18 margin. Both keepers made nine saves and both teams took three corner kicks. They even scored just 10 minutes apart. Then, 110 minutes weren't enough, so they decided to settle it the worst possible way to determine a winner in sports-penalty kicks.
The shootout was tied 3-3 heading to the fifth round when Rumfola dove to her right and stoned Ally Hall, setting up the Lancers for the win. Witz stepped up to the ball and put it on frame. Mustang keeper Amanda Diamond was able to touch it, but couldn't control it and the ball trickled into the net, giving the Lancers the victory.
"Katie's save was outstanding," said St. Clair, "and our girls stayed composed and converted our kicks. It was a great performance. We gutted this one out."
CBU moves to 13-4-2 and into next Friday's finals where it will travel to top-seed Azusa Pacific. The Master's is now 16-2-2.
After a scoreless 74 minutes, the Mustangs struck first with 15 minutes left on a free kick. Sierra Goff lofted a ball towards the frame, and as Rumfola jumped to get it, the ball slipped through her fingers and into the net.
A resilient set of Lancers didn't give in, though, and they equalized with just 5:49 left. da Silva got the ball into the middle of the field just behind the center line and sent a long ball over the Mustang defense. Kylee Nicassio got in behind, ran onto it, beat her defender, touched it past an onrushing Diamond, who went to the ground, and slotted in her 11th goal of the season.
The Lancers nearly won it just 13 seconds into the second overtime, but a sliding Diamond did enough to deflect a shot from Amanda Lammers as she was going to the ground.