Two of Portland Thorns FC’s remaining draftees from the 2021 NWSL Draft played in the third round of the NCAA Tournament on Wednesday, with Yazmeen Ryan’s TCU squad beating the Georgetown Hoyas and Sam Coffey’s No. 9 Penn State Nittany Lions falling to the top-ranked Florida State Seminoles. Here’s how both matches went down.
Penn State vs. No. 1- Florida State
Sam Coffey’s ninth ranked Nittany Lions faced their toughest challenge of the season. They took on ACC Champions and No. 1 overall seed Florida State in the third round of the NCAA Tournament.
Florida State dominated possession from the start and created the majority of the chances. Within the first five minutes of the match, the Seminoles had amassed three shots and two dangerous corners. But it was Penn State that opened the scoring.
In the 20th minute, the Nittany Lions put together a clinical counterattack that went through Coffey, Ally Schlegel, and Frankie Tagliaferri. Coffey provided the assist and Tagliaferri was lethal in the finish.
The Seminoles responded with more pressure and found an equalizer from a corner kick with 14 minutes left in the first half.
Florida State came out in the second half and continued to put the Nittany Lions under pressure, but in this half they were more clinical. The Seminoles added two more goals, one from open play and one from the penalty spot, to make it 3-1 and eliminate Penn State.
Coffey will stay at Penn State for the fall semester to finish her master’s degree in communication.
TCU vs. Georgetown
Yazmeen Ryan was just honored as a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy, but she made it clear that the ultimate goal for her is winning the NCAA College Cup. Her No. 4 overall TCU Horned Frogs played the No. 13 overall Georgetown Hoyas in the third round of the tournament.
The match had a methodical start, with both teams trying to build out of the while being stifled by two solid defenses. Ryan created two early opportunities. She had her shot blocked in the 18-yard box and fed through Messiah Bright, whose touch took her away from goal.
Georgetown grew into the match and started firing shots at the goal. One shot rocketed off the post and the rebound was tapped in to give the Hoyas a 1-0 lead they would take into halftime.
For much of the second half, Georgetown was the better team. The Horned Frogs stayed within striking distance courtesy of a few great saves from Emily Alvarado. Late in the match, Ryan played a through ball to Michelle Slater from the top of the penalty area. Slater curled it into the net to equalize.
Ryan drove at the defense and fired a shot off the post in the 79th minute and that was as close as TCU or Georgetown would come to finding a winner. Neither team could find a winner in regulation or extra time and the match was decided from the penalty spot.
Georgetown took the first penalty kick and converted. Ryan stepped up to take TCU’s first spot-kick and the referee stopped her and called a lightning delay. She stepped to the spot 30 minutes later and calmly dispatched.
After the delay, the Hoyas had two penalty kicks saved and one miss off the post. TCU made their three attempted spot-kicks and advanced.
Ryan and TCU will meet Virginia in the quarterfinals on May 9 at 2:00 p.m. (Pacific).