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Mark DeCotis, Athletic Communications

Office:  321-433-5700, 321-759-4540 (C)

Late Goal Lifts Iowa Western Past Monroe, Into National Semifinal

November 14, 2012 - Monroe County Community College and Iowa Western Community College played on even terms for most of Wednesday's match to determine which team advanced to Friday's semifinals of the NJCAA Division I Women's Soccer National Championship Tournament.

But in the end – actually 2 minutes and one second from it – Iowa Western sophomore Taylor Samsel beat Monroe sophomore goalkeeper Chole Crook to the low right side for the winner and Iowa Western advanced to play second-seeded Paradise Valley at 2 p.m. Friday.

Samsel's goal followed two sterling saves by Crook in a white-knuckle-for-Monroe sequence that began with 5:37 to play.

"I just worked hard, found the corner and did what I could," Samsel said of the goal.

Iowa Western, seeded third, improved to 18-1-1. Monroe seeded sixth and winners of 18 straight coming into Wednesday, was eliminated and finished at 18-2.

Iowa Western coach Brad Silvey was nearly speechless.

"That's not the first time that we've been down before," he said. "Do we like going down, absolutely not. We've told this team from the get-go that they're a special group.

"They have those characteristics that a coach looks for. The resiliency obviously paid off to battle back. We made some adjustments in the midfield and kind of gambled at the end, we tried to throw some more of our stronger players higher up on the field and it worked out for us.

"Monroe is always a handful."

Monroe scored 2 minutes and 15 seconds into the match when sophomore Natalie Rogers found the net for a 1-0 lead but Iowa Western's freshman Marina Galaz scored at the 8:50 mark to even the ledger.

Monroe went ahead again when freshman Taylor Wingerden scored on a rebound off the post at the 15:05 mark but Galaz netted again for Iowa Western at the 9:57 mark.

Her long, bending shot from 35 yards out came on an assist from freshman Courtney Acosta and was the goal of the tournament to date.

Monroe head coach Sal Galvano's message to his team was simple: "They gave it their all," he said. "All I ask of them is to leave it on the field and they did.

"We were just losing their marks. They moved the ball around nicely. We didn't mark up. It was our mistake and they capitalized on it."