Laura Redmond scored the golden goal in Illinois' 1-0 double-overtime win at No. 20 Florida to advance to the NCAA second round on Sunday.
Nov. 11, 2005
Laura Redmond beat the Florida keeper and punched home the golden goal in the 102nd minute as Illinois won a hard-fought NCAA tournament first round game over the 20th-ranked Gators 1-0. The Illini advance to Sunday's second round, where they will play Florida State at noon (CST). FSU downed Florida Atlantic 3-0 in Friday's first game.
The shutout is Illinois' ninth of the season - fourth-most in program history - and senior keeper Rachel Frank's second of the year and third career. Frank had six saves on the night, tied for an Illini season-high.
"We had a lot of confidence today," Redmond said. "Janet (Rayfield, Illinois' coach) called my shot before the second overtime since we had been getting the cross through. Ella Masar just flicked it and I put it in."
The cross came from defender Christen Karniski (Iowa City, Iowa) from the edge of Illinois' attacking third. It soared toward the top of the penalty box, where Masar (Urbana, Ill.) flicked it toward the far post where Redmond beat Florida keeper Jen Gardner at the edge of the six-yard box and tapped the ball into the back of the net to end the Gators' season and propel Illinois into the second round.
"At the break between the overtimes it felt like we had really gained the momentum and it would only be a matter of time before we found the back of the net," Rayfield said. "We really decided to push the tempo in overtime and that gave us a boost psychologically."
The Illini were able to pressure Florida in the extra time, outshooting the Gators 4-1 in the 12 overtime minutes after Florida outshot Illinois 11-5 in regulation. With the win, Illinois improves to 3-0-3 in overtime games this season and 3-2-1 against ranked teams.
Florida controlled most of regulation, with only an inspired performance by Frank and a progressively stronger Illini defense keeping Illinois from ending its season. Frank made two incredible saves, once stopping a Gator shot from 16 yards off a breakaway and once punching a wide-open Florida shot up and off the crossbar to send the game to the half with no score. Frank opened the second half with another tough save, stopping a wide-open shot by Florida's Melanie Booth with a high, diving save at the 57:48 mark.
Twice the Illini were mere inches from ending the Gators' season in the first overtime, once as Bayne took a wide open shot from 10 yards on the left side of the box, but her shot went off the outside of the far post. Less than three minutes later, Kara Gostisha (West Chester, Ohio) wound up from the top of the penalty box, but Gardner stretched just far enough to save her shot to the far post at 94:44 and send the game into a second extra period.