Senior forward Sophie Pohl found the back of the net with five seconds remaining in overtime to propel Toledo over Bowling Green, 2-1, in the Mid-American Conference’s championship match Sunday afternoon at Dix Stadium in Kent, Ohio. The win gives the Rockets their conference-best fifth MAC Tournament Championship and clinches a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
With the clock winding down, sophomore Kelsey Kraft found Pohl on the left wing, and Pohl was able to beat the Bowling Green keeper to the far post for her second goal of the match.“It’s been such a fun season and a fun ride,” said Toledo Head Coach TJ Buchholz. “Every one of these players battled for each other and that’s what it takes. They kept fighting, and they kept bouncing back.”
The Rockets (12-7-3) and the Falcons (13-7-1) played a highly competitive first half that was expected from the two rival teams. Both teams had chances with free kicks from just outside the box, but neither team could capitalize on the opportunity as the match was scoreless at the break.
In the 59th minute, Toledo tallied the opening goal. Junior Alena Sidwell found junior captain Regan Price down the right sideline. Price entered a perfect centering pass to Pohl, who tapped it in for the score.
However, BGSU battled back to tie the match less than 20 minutes later. First-team All-MAC selection Erica Hubert knotted the match, 1-1, in the 79th minute to keep the Falcons alive.
Kraft nearly regained the lead for the Rockets in the 84th minute before a great defensive play by Bowling Green stopped the attack. Neither team threatened in the final minutes of regulation.
The stage was set for Pohl’s last-second heroics and the St. Charles, Ill., native delivered with the match-winner to the upper right corner.
“Sophie is phenomenal,” Buchholz said. “The plays that she made down the stretch were unbelievable. That’s what she does, and I am so proud of her.”
UT out-shot the Falcons, 14-11, and had two more corner kicks, 3-1. Redshirt freshman Madison Perrin made four saves in goal for the Rockets to record her 12th win of the campaign.
With the win, the Rockets advance to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time. The NCAA Tournament Selection Show will take place Monday, Nov. 6, at 4:30 p.m., and fans are invited to watch the show with the team in the Savage Arena Joe Grogan Room.