DENVER – For the second season in a row, the Colorado School of Mines women's soccer team returned to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Division II Soccer Championship as the NSCAA No. 15 Orediggers defeated third-seed and host Metro State 2-1 at Auraria Field in Denver earlier this afternoon.
Mines (18-4-1) surrendered its first goal in over 584 minutes, a span of more than five games, but the final result was never in question as RMAC Offensive Player of the Year Anna Evans and fellow RMAC First Teamer Megan Woodworth provided the offensive fire-power with their 17th and 11th scores of the season, respectively.
Evans netted her third goal in the last two postseason games with 38:24 on the clock in the first half, launching a pass from senior Dani Hering from the top right side of the box to the upper, left-90.
Just over 20 minutes into the second in the 66th minute, Woodworth scored her second of the NCAAs and second game-winner, delivering a long strike from the top of the 18 following a steal and ensuing pass in the backfield from Evans.
The Orediggers appeared in line for their first shutout against Metro State since 2010, but a Mines foul in the box at the 87:45 mark allowed Abby Rolph to successfully connect on the penalty kick attempt for her fifth score this season and the game's ending margin.
After getting swept in the regular season series, the win was the second straight over the Roadrunners (15-6-2) this postseason following a 1-0 decision in the RMAC Semifinals on Nov. 2 and first in three NCAA Tournament meetings. In the two prior matches, the teams finished in stalemates of 0-0 and 1-1 with Mines advancing 4-to-3 on penalty kicks in the 2009 third round and MSUD moving on in the first round in 2010, 5-to-4.
Along with evening the all-time series with Metro State at 6-6-4 and improving their NCAA Tournament record to 7-2-3 in five appearances, the win also extended the Orediggers' school-record unbeaten streak to 13 straight and win streak to six in a row, one shy of matching the program record set back in 2009 and 2011.
Mines faces two-time national champion and current No. 5 UC-San Diego (16-2-3) in the quarterfinals at Metro State at 12 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 18 for the chance to advance to the national semifinals in Evans, Georgia. The West Region second-seed Tritons defeated fifth-seed Western Washington 2-1 in overtime earlier today.