Ties are a way of life in soccer, though they often drive American sports fans out of their mind. It's not that they don't happen in other sports, but they're so rare as to be noteworthy. Donovan McNabb once famously admitted he didn't know NFL games could end in a tie, and the Florida Southern baseball team even played to a scoreless draw in 2018 at Mount Olive. In soccer, they happen frequently, and if a college postseason game ends in a draw, a series of five penalty kicks are used to determine which team advances to the next round, even though the official results still list it as a tie. By 2012, the Florida Southern women's soccer team had been through that scenario four times in the previous four seasons, and come out on the wrong end in all four. On October 30, 2012, the Moccasins ended that hex, however, by "beating" Lynn in penalty kicks in the quarterfinals of the Sunshine State Conference Tournament.
The Moccasins' first experience with penalties had come in 2008 during the SSC Championship Game when they finished as runner-up to Saint Leo. One week later, on the same field in Winter Park, the Mocs were eliminated from the NCAA Tournament by Florida Tech in penalties. Two years later, the Mocs twice played to draws with Florida Tech in the postseason, only to see the Panthers advance each time on penalties, first in the SSC Semifinals, and later in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Head coach Ben Strawbridge went to extreme measures to avoid the tiebreaker scenario in the last of those games by playing the second overtime period with defender Ashlie Haas as the Mocs' goalkeeper in name only. Strawbridge deserves credit for trying something unorthodox since it essentially gave Florida Southern 11 field players, but the final result was the same.
So there the Mocs were again in 2012 in the SSC Tournament Quarterfinals against Lynn under first-year head coach Brittany Jones. Another postseason game had ended in a tie, and all five of them by the same 1-1 score. Unlike the others though, this one was at Barnett Field, and Jones may not have been aware of the past results anyway. The Moccasins had led for the vast majority of the game after Kirra Rainbow had scored in the second minute when the Knights struggled to clear a ball played into the box by Brooke Williams. The Mocs out-shot the Knights 10-3 in the first half, but in the second half, were out-shot 13-6, and the Knights tied the game in the 78th minute on a goal by Meghan Dolan, who had been Lynn's starting goalkeeper earlier in the season.
Both teams also hit the crossbar in the second half, Kara Moore for Florida Southern in the 47th minute, and Lina Forsman for Lynn in the 86th. The shot by Forsman could have easily been the game-winner for Lynn, and if not for senior defender Morgan Sammons it likely would have been. The ball came off the bar perfectly for Tatiana Penagos who had an open shot with goalkeeper Erin Moseley out of range for a play, but Sammons stepped in to save it herself and kept the game tied. The Mocs had a chance for the winning goal too in the dying seconds of the second half when Lynn was whistled for a foul just outside the top of the box. A frantic effort to get the free kick taken before time expired went for naught, and after two scoreless overtime periods, the game would be decided at the spot.
Both teams made their first attempt, Moore for Florida Southern and Lauren Handley for Lynn. Danielle Hancock then put the Mocs ahead in the tie-breaker before Moseley dove to her left to stop the Knights' second shooter, Dolan. Williams put the Knights under more pressure when she made Florida Southern 3-for-3 from the spot, and Moseley made another save against Kirstie Schults to keep it 3-1. That gave Jackie Metz, who had earlier had two shots saved by Kelsey Butler in overtime a chance to end the game on the next attempt. The sophomore midfielder delivered, giving the Mocs a 4-1 advantage in penalties and sending them into the SSC Tournament semifinals.
While Metz had what amounted to the game-winning goal, the Mocs got to that point thanks in large part to the play of Sammons, Williams, Alyssa Abrahamsen and Gianna Conte on the back line. All four Florida Southern defenders made at least one standout individual play in the second half to limit the Knights to one goal, and Moseley made seven saves before stopping two penalty kicks. It remains the only time a game has gone to penalties at Barnett/Moccasin Field.
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