KALAMAZOO, Mich. – After ending the regular season with an MIAA championship, the Kalamazoo College women's soccer team's postseason dreams ended in heartbreaking fashion Thursday evening as the Hornets fell to Alma College in penalty kicks.
Alma jumped out to a 1-0 lead early in the match when Amanda Mladenovski whipped in a cross from the right side and Megan Kalanik got her head on it.
Falling behind early seemed to spark the Hornets for the duration of the first half as they held a 6-4 advantage in shots at the break. Kalamazoo continued to press in the second half and finally found its equalizer when Libby Munoz slotted a rebound into the back of the net in the 69th minute.
"I thought the women displayed great effort and fight, especially playing down a goal for close to 70 minutes," Kalamazoo Head Coach Bryan Goyings said. "After Libby recorded the equalizer I thought we applied some great pressure but could not find a go-ahead goal."
Kalamazoo's pressure never relented throughout the game's 110 minutes as it held a 17-12 edge in shots, but Alma seemed quite composed for an away side in the penalty shootout.
The Hornets and Scots each made their first two attempts in the penalty shootout, but three straight misses from the Hornets was too big a deficit to overcome even with a fantastic save from Grace Smith on Alma's fourth penalty. The shootout ultimately ended, 3-2, in favor of the Scots.
"Certainly whenever a game goes to penalty kicks to determine a winter it is pretty much a coin flip and always a tough way for the season to end," Goyings said. "I cannot say enough about this extraordinary group of young women. They have represented themselves, the college and the women's soccer program with a tremendous amount of class. The seniors specifically have invested an enormous amount into this program. I cannot thank them enough."
With tonight's result, Kalamazoo ends its season with an overall record of 13-4-3.