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DES MOINES, Iowa - Freshman Flo Beshiri lifted the Creighton women's soccer team into the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Semifinals as she nailed the tenth penalty kick to push No. 6 Creighton past No. 3 Drake, 0-0 (8-7 in penalty kicks) in the MVC Tournament Quarterfinals match on Sunday, Oct. 28th.

Recorded as a tie, Creighton is now 3-12-3 on the season and moves on to play Illinois State in the MVC Semifinals on Friday, Nov. 2nd.  Drake's season ends with a record of 12-5-3.

After 110 minutes of scoreless play, the penalty kick (PK) session can only be described as drama filled and intense.  Drake shot first as Megan Fisher converted the opening kick.  Creighton junior Kelsey O'Donnell responded with a shot to the  corner.  Each team went on to convert the opening five penalty kicks.  In order the kicks for Creighton were senior Gabriela Guillén, senior Brittney Neumann, sophomore Madelyn Buckner and freshman Jill Richgels.

Tied at 5-5, Drake's Rhian Pritchard suffered the first miss as senior keeper Katie Jo Swanson snagged a shot to the right.  Unfortunately Creighton junior Angela Benson was denied by Drake keeper, Kalena Litch.

The seventh shot from Drake's Kylie DeHaven bounced off the right post, providing a second opportunity for the Jays.  Litch, however, stepped up once more, denying Bluejay freshman Maddie Trebesch with a diving stop. 

Both teams converted the eighth and ninth shots as seniors Sarah Kendall and Katie Murphy delivered in the clutch. 

Penalty kicks moved on to the tenth kick.  Desperately wanting to extend her season, Swanson blocked her fourth penalty kick of the match (having blocked a penalty kick in regulation) to give Creighton a third opportunity to win the game.  This time head coach Bruce Erickson turned to little used Beshiri for just the second time in the 2012 season.  The Downers Grove, Ill., native fired the penalty kick into the net to lift the Jays.

All of the drama of the penalty kick session would not have occurred if not for an appetizer from Swanson at the beginning of the second period. In the 46th minute Swanson stopped a penalty kick from Brittany Schulling.  Swanson dove right as Schulling sent the shot to her left.  Swanson stopped the shot sending it to the left post, the ball bounced right back to Swanson as she lay in front of the goal.

The Bluejays and Bulldogs each had chances in the scoreless first period.  Twice the Bulldogs had shots at an open net, misfiring both times.  The first opportunity came with near the ten minute mark as Drake sent a crossing pass toward the right side, beating Swanson.  The shot was wide right, but was waived off as offside was called.  Drake's second open netter equally resulted in an errant shot to the right in the 28th minute.

Sunday's match was the fifth time in the last ten years that Creighton has seen a match go to penalty kicks in the MVC Tournament.  Last season the Jays and Northern Iowa ended in a 0-0 draw, but the Panthers advanced 5-3 in PKs.  In 2008, Missouri State bested the Jays in PKs 5-3, while Creighton slipped past Illinois State, 4-3, in 2007.  Overall Creighton has advanced twice in the five matches that have gone to PKs in the last decade.

Creighton and Drake each finished with 14 shots in the match, while Drake held a 6-4 edge in corner kicks.

In the other MVC Tournament Quarterfinal, No. 5 Indiana State and No. 4 Northern Iowa also played to a 0-0 draw.  Indiana State advanced via PKs, 4-2. Indiana State will face the No. 1 seed, Evansville, at 3:30 p.m. in Morrison Stadium on Friday, Nov. 2. The Jays match against the No. 2 seed in the MVC Tournament, Illinois State, will be at 6 p.m.

 


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