NATCHITOCHES, La. — Sophomore Maria Jose Rojas' team-leading ninth goal of the season with less than three minutes remaining in double overtime sent No. 4 UTSA past fifth-seeded Southeastern Louisiana, 1-0, in Thursday's second quarterfinal of the Southland Conference Tournament.
The defending champion Roadrunners (9-8-2) avenged last Sunday's loss to the Lady Lions
(11-7-1) and they now will face regular season champion Stephen F.
Austin, which has won 12 consecutive matches. The Ladyjacks (14-2-1)
handed UTSA a 3-0 setback on Sept. 30.
It looked as if the match was headed to penalty kicks, but freshman Liv Nyhegn
found Rojas streaking toward the goal and she ended Southeastern Louisiana's campaign for the second consecutive year.
Much of the opening half was a defensive struggle.
Rojas registered the first shot of the match in the 28th minute and nearly put the Roadrunners ahead with an attempt two minutes later that was batted away by Cassie Northrup, who lunged to her left for the save.
The defense did its part, limiting Southeastern Louisiana to just one shot that was scooped up by sophomore goalie Danielle Snyder.
The Lady Lions missed out on an opportunity early in the second half when Karly Dagys had a one-on-one opportunity against Snyder, but she charged and blocked Dagys' low shot attempt to keep the match scoreless.
UTSA turned up the offense and nearly grabbed the advantage in the 76th minute when Nyhegn’s shot hit the crossbar. Seconds later, freshman Anissa Munson’s header off the rebound also banged off the top pipe.
In all, the Birds tallied 12 shots in the second stanza and held the Southeastern Louisiana to just four, but neither team was able to put one in the net, which forced UTSA to go extra time for the third time this season.
Snyder recorded three saves and improved to 7-1-2 on the year.