Abilene, Texas – The ninth-ranked Trinity women's soccer team was unable to hang on to a late lead as third-ranked Hardin-Simmons (TX) University rallied for a 3-2 comeback win in Sunday's Second Round NCAA Playoff game.
Hardin-Simmons took its first lead with less than a minute remaining to earn an unlikely 3-2 win over Trinity.
The Tigers led 2-1 with less than 10 minutes to play, but the Cowgirls netted a pair of late goals to pull off the come-from-behind win.
Trinity jumped out in front early on an own-goal by Hardin-Simmons less than four minutes into the game. Colleen Markey's cross was knocked into the net by one of the HSU defenders, and the Tigers were in the lead.
In what would be a theme for the entire game, a corner kick in the 12th minute led to an equalizer by Hardin-Simmons and the game was level again.
Chelsea Cole got free for a shot on goal shortly after the HSU score, then hit the cross bar on a header in the 16th minute.
The defensive struggle continued as the two high-powered offenses were not able to get many shots, but Meredith Licata changed that with her goal in the 33rd minute to put Trinity back in front 2-1.
Halleanne Dure had the final chance of the first half with less than a minute to play, but another HSU save kept it a 2-1 game at the half.
Trinity held a slight 5-4 edge in total shots and a 4-2 advantage in shots on goal during the first half, and each team earned just one corner kick over the first 45 minutes.
Hardin-Simmons had the first attempt less than five minutes into the second period, but Kalli Douma made the save to keep Trinity in front. Cole's header for the Tigers just minutes later ended with another save by Hardin-Simmons.
Both teams had shots on goal over the next several minutes, but it wasn't until the 82nd minute that the next score would come. A corner kick from Hardin-Simmons fell into the box and though Douma got one save in the ensuing scramble, the end result was a tie game with just minutes remaining.
Another corner kick in the final minutes for Hardin-Simmons led to another goal, and the Cowgirls had turned a 2-1 deficit with 10 minutes left into a 3-2 win to advance to the next round.
Hardin-Simmons wound up with a 10-9 lead in overall shots in the game, including an 8-7 advantage in shots on goal. Three of HSU's four corner kicks led to goals in the game.
Trinity had its 19-game winning streak stopped with the loss, and fell to 19-2-0 overall this season. Hardin-Simmons remained undefeated with a 21-0-0 record on the year.
The goal allowed by the Tigers breaks a string of 11 straight shutouts for the Trinity defense, stopping the team's scoreless streak of more than 1,000 minutes.
Prior to today's result, Trinity had allowed just three goals in 20 games during the season.
Trinity falls to 4-6-2 against Hardin-Simmons in the postseason, including a 1-2-1 record in Abilene. The last Tiger win at HSU came during the 2005 playoffs. Hardin-Simmons has now eliminated Trinity from the NCAA Playoffs three times in the last six years.
Meredith Licata's first-half goal was her 10th of the season and the 27th of her career.