BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Georgia Southern’s Emily Hirano headed in the game-winner in the 102nd minute of double overtime on Friday night, Nov. 2, as the Elon women’s soccer team saw its season end with a stunning 1-0 setback in the Southern Conference Tournament semifinals at the Samford Track & Soccer Stadium.
The fifth-seeded Phoenix ends the year with a 7-9-6 mark. Eighth-seeded GSU (10-7-4) advances to the championship match on Sunday to face the winner of third-seeded Furman and seventh-seeded College of Charleston.
“I’m really proud of the way our team played tonight, especially our seniors,” said Phoenix head coach Chris Neal. “I thought the game could’ve gone either way and Georgia Southern scored a great goal to end it.”
GSU’s Courtney Collins crossed the ball into Hirano near the right sideline 1:07 into the second overtime, allowing her teammate to head in the ball near the left post for the game-winner. The match was Elon’s ninth overtime tilt of the season.
The Phoenix had several opportunities in the opening stanza, as Nicole Dennion’s strike in the 16th minute missed just left of the goal to give Elon an early advantage. Taylor Glenn had a good look on a header following an Olivia Mackey corner in the 27th minute, but GSU keeper Katie Merson made the save.
Glenn nearly gave the Phoenix a 1-0 lead in the 76th minute after striking a ball in from the center of the box, but the goal was waived when an Elon foul was called simultaneously with the score.
Georgia Southern just missed taking a one-goal lead in the 81st minute, but Nora El-Shami’s shot ricocheted off the right post to keep the match scoreless.
Elon keeper Kate Murphy ended the night with eight saves in 101:07 minutes between the posts.
The Phoenix registered five shots, three of which landed on-target, and finished the match with a 5-2 edge in corners.