Parzonko’s Golden Goal Sends Warriors to Alabama

Submitted by: Kaci Mexico - November 19th, 2016


photo by Brad Elliott

photo by Brad Elliott

By Kaci Mexico
November 19, 2016

In the first round of the single elimination NAIA Women’s Soccer National Tournament Haley Parzonko scored two minutes and four seconds into the first overtime period to defeat Carroll (Mont.) and send the #10 Warriors (16-3-2) to the round of sixteen in Orange Beach, Alabama. The final score was 2-1.

The Saints (12-4-5) scored first when in the 19th minute Michaela Kueffler crossed the ball to Cassidy Hammons who slotted the ball into the left side of the goal from eight yards out. Ninety seconds later, Westmont’s Renee Gonsalves scored the equalizer with a far post header off of a corner kick by Parzonko.

“On their goal we had a loose defensive breakdown and I think our response to get a goal off of a set piece today was huge for us,” explained head coach Chantel Cappuccilli. “We have been looking to score a set piece goal for a while and it finally came off today – I think it gave us the momentum we needed in order to move positively forward into the game.”

With the score tied at 1-1, both teams battled to score before the end of regulation play. Carroll had a significant opportunity to take the lead when they were awarded a penalty kick just before halftime – fortunately for Westmont, the Saints did not capitalize. Regulation play ended in a tie, and for sixth time this season, the Warriors entered into sudden death overtime.

“We have been in this position entering into overtime a number of times this season and we know what it feels like on both sides [the Warriors have lost twice, won twice, and tied twice in overtime this season],” noted Cappuccilli. “So today, stepping onto the field in this first overtime period, we knew that we were going to have to play with a tremendous amount of passion and heart in order to beat a good Carroll team. We also knew that with the caliber of goal keeper that Carroll has, it was going to take something special in order to score.”

In the first period of overtime, Westmont came out full of energy when just 39 seconds in, Maddi Berthoud had a chance to end the game when she found herself in behind the Carroll defense in a one on one situation with the goal keeper. Berthoud fired off a shot and narrowly missed, hitting the upper crossbar.

Eighty-five seconds later, Berthoud and Parzonko combined to create something special. The game-winner came when Berthoud settled the ball inside the Saints’ goal box and laid it off to Parzonko who blasted the ball into the left side of the goal in a one-time finish from 12 yards out. “It was a special moment to watch Haley smack the ball the way she did and send us to Alabama,” reflected Cappuccilli. “I am proud of the fight she had within her for the entire game – I couldn‘t be more proud of her effort on the day and the way that she finished that goal.”

“We talk about gratitude on our team daily and I think today is a day to be thankful,” continued Cappuccilli, “and so we will carry our thankfulness into the next week as we play and prepare for our next game.”

With this victory, Westmont will advance to the second round held at the NAIA Tournament Final Site in Orange Beach, Alabama and face off against #6 Northwestern Ohio (18-1-3) on Tuesday November 29 at 1:30 p.m.

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