Point Park women advance to KIAC Finals on PKs, top rival Carlow in playoffs
Nov. 5, 2013 at 11:30 p.m. ET
Emily Levier, left, got the clinching PK to advance Point Park to the KIAC Finals. Photo by Evan Schall.
PITTSBURGH -- Point Park University's scoring touch was "lights out" in the penalty kick round, and the Pioneers are advancing to the KIAC Women's Soccer Tournament Finals for the second year in a row.
Point Park tied Carlow, 0-0 (2OT), in the KIAC Tournament Semifinals on Tuesday night at Highmark Stadium but is moving on to the finals after downing the rival Celtics, 5-3, on PKs.
No. 3 seed Point Park (7-11-2, 4-1-1 KIAC) will play at No. 1 seed Asbury (Ky.) University (10-8-0, 6-0-0 KIAC) in the KIAC Tournament Finals Nov. 9. Kickoff is 2 p.m. ET in Wilmore, Ky. The winner will advance to the NAIA national tournament beginning Nov. 23 at campus sites.
No. 2 seed Carlow (9-6-2, 4-1-1 KIAC) ends its season. The Celtics tied Point Park, 1-1 (2OT), in the regular season and had been unbeaten in its last four games versus Point Park with three victories and the recent tie.
And after two overtimes and no goals by either team, another even matchup between Point Park and Carlow was well underway. And if there wasn't enough drama, an odd occurrence came about with 14 seconds left in the second overtime -- the lights went out at Highmark Stadium leaving the stadium in a blackout at about 9:30 p.m.
After a delay of more than 15 minutes, the final 14 seconds of double OT came off the clock making way for the PKs. And when the lights came back on, the Pioneers were lights out from the 6. The Pioneers converted all five of their PKs and got a big save along the way to take the match.
Point Park sophomore Leeza Tokarski got things started by finding the back of the net on the first PK try. Then Pioneers senior goalkeeper Mackenzie Pinto came up with the breathing room her team needed, a diving stop on the first attempt she faced, and the Pioneers led the PK round, 1-0.
Then sophomore Alyson Joyce, freshman Beth Millican and junior Kari Kowalski all scored goals on their attempts for Point Park. And altough Carlow scored on its next three tries as well, Point Park still led, 4-3, after four rounds of shooting.
That set the stage for Point Park senior Emily Levier, a native of Gibsonia, Pa., and a graduate of Pine-Richland HS, as the last shooter for the Pioneers. Levier opted for the shot straight at the keeper, who dived to the side and allowed the clinching score, 5-3, on PKs.
By edging Carlow, Point Park moves on the KIAC Tournament Finals for the second year in a row. The Pioneers had some heartbreak in the 2012 KIAC Finals with a 1-0, overtime loss at Carlow, but will look to make a different result this time and qualify for their first-ever NAIA national tournament.
Point Park lost at Asbury, 1-0, in its KIAC, regular season finale Oct. 26 of this year. The Eagles got the only goal on a PK as a result of handball.
No. 1 seed Asbury edged No. 5 seed Cincinnati Christian, 3-2, in its semifinal match on Tuesday. The Eagles were in control after two goals by freshman Shaina Painter gave them a 2-0 lead at the half. But CCU would not go quietly with two second-half goals to tie it up at 2-2 with 27 minutes left. But Asbury's Toria Howard got the game-winner in the 75th minute.