With 10 seconds left in overtime, fourth-year forward Sophie Pohl buried a shot in the back of the net to win the women’s soccer team its conference-best fifth Mid-American Conference tournament championship, a 2-1 game over archrival Bowling Green State University and a ticket to the NCAA tournament.
Second-year forward Kelsey Kraft touched the ball back to Pohl, who fired a shot from outside the box and put it just out of the goalie’s reach and inside the far post. Pohl scored both goals for UT in the match and was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Toledo is 12-7-3 this season.
Toledo advanced to the championship by defeating Ball State University 2-1 on Nov. 3. The difference in this one was a rebound off of a free kick that was knocked in by third-year captain Regan Price in overtime.
BALL STATE, 2-1
Toledo found itself trailing early as first-year goalie Madison Perrin saved a shot but did not control the rebound and the Cardinals put it in the back in the ninth minute. Perrin went on to make three more saves in the game.
The Rockets received two yellow cards before halftime. They also got two more shots on goal by fourth-year forward Isa Echeverri and fourth-year defender Chiara Paradiso, but they were both stopped by the keeper.
In the 56th minute, UT struck back to tie the match, and Pohl found an open teammate, third-year midfielder Alena Sidwell, for the goal. Several minutes later, Ball State’s Lucy Walton attempted to break the tie, but Perrin was there to make a good save.
The last good chance for either team came in the 68th minute as Price tried to sneak a quick header by the keeper, but it bounced widely to the right. At the end of regulation, the teams were knotted 1-1.
The Cardinals controlled the ball for most of the first overtime, firing three shots to UT’s one. But Perrin came up big with three saves, so the teams headed to a second overtime.
In the second overtime, the teams battled back and forth. With just a minute remaining, Ball State fouled, giving Paradiso a free kick from just outside the box. It was saved by the goalie but Price knocked in the rebound for her first goal of the season to send the Rockets to the championship game.
In the first half against Bowling Green, both teams played hard to get scoring chances, although neither really got a good look at goal. Toledo shot six times, along with four by the Falcons, but only three of the shots were on goal.
It would not take long in the second half to break the scoreless tie. In the 59th minute, Sidwell found Price on the right sideline and Pohl in the middle of the box to take a 1-0 lead.
The Falcons did not go away quietly; in the 79th minute, first-team all-MAC forward Erica Hubert tied it up at 1-1. UT had one more chance in regulation, but it was stopped and they headed to overtime.
It was a hard-fought overtime period that was not decided until the end by a goal from 25 yards away by Pohl with just minutes remaining in the match to put UT ahead 2-1.
Pohl was named to the all-tournament team, along with Echeverri, Price and Paradiso. This is Toledo’s first MAC tournament championship since 2011.