ANKENY, Iowa -- For the third year in a row, the Sabercats have fallen to Providence in sudden-death overtime of the NCCAA North Region Semifinal.
The loss concludes the season for the Sabercats, who finish the 2019 season with a record of 6-9-0.
- Result: Maranatha 0-1 Providence (OT)
- Venue: Pyche Field, Faith Baptist Bible College
- Location: Ankeny, Iowa
- Attendance: 111
- Record: MBU (6-9-0), PUC (8-6-1)
The first half presented a frozen field, scoring chances, and upbeat play, but neither team could break through in the opening 45 minutes. Kseniya Hassenplug had the best chance for Maranatha, but her well-struck shot from just outside the box was met with a diving save from the Providence goalkeeper.
At the other end, Trisha Wright stayed busy with three saves and had to deal with four crosses from the Pilots.
Both teams wanted it. Neither team had found it yet.
Providence looked like the more eager team coming out of the halftime break, as they tested Wright twice in the early minutes of the second half. Amy Montgomery had a dangerous chance about 20 minutes into the half, but some hard-working Providence defenders and a diving save from the PUC goalkeeper kept Maranatha off the board.
A real scare came the Sabercats' way a few minutes later when Kathryn Tierney shook the crossbar with a 25-yard shot. The ball bounced straight down but never crossed the line, and Maranatha breathed a collective sigh of relief.
MBU had a couple of half-chances late on, but an air of inevitability was looming. And when the referee blew for full-time, memories of former losses came flooding back for the young but determined Sabercat squad.
The killer blow was ultimately dealt by Makayla Myer, who found the back of the net just a few minutes into the first overtime period. Myer snuck her shot through traffic in the Sabercats' box, and it seemed to roll through, almost apologetically, into the back of the Sabercats' net to hail an agonizing ending to the Sabercats' 2019 season.
MBU Starters: 0- Wright, 5- Hassenplug, 6- Montgomery (C), 7- Evans, 10- Riley, 11- Torres, 13- Bagin, 14- Sponable, 15- Hendrickson, 17- Moses, 19- Steuerwald
- Shot count: Maranatha 11-20 Providence
- Hassenplug: two shots on goal
- Wright: 10 saves
- Last year: Providence won 3-2 in overtime in the regional championship
- Series: Maranatha now sees the series even out at 3-3-1
- Providence competes with the Sabercats for the NCCAA North Region
- The Pilots have come from behind to take the North Region Championship from Maranatha in 2017 and 2018
- Providence advances to play Faith Baptist Bible College tomorrow in the NCCAA North Region Championship
The Sabercats conclude their season with a record of 6-9. A full recap of the season will be forthcoming at mbusabercats.com.