After a long season of ups and downs on offense, UConn women’s soccer looked like they had done the improbable: score a double overtime winner with seconds left to go in their season. Then the seemingly impossible happened: The sideline ref raised his flag, waiving the goal off, waiving the Huskies’ season off.
The play unfolded in slow motion, with a Temple corner that they pulled their goalie for. After the ball trickled out, forward Kess Elmore snatched it and immediately flipped onto the offensive. She looked up and found a streaking Vivien Beil, on her Senior Night, flying down the left-hand side, gliding on the rain-soaked turf. Beil looked to be on side, and she took the pass in stride.
With the ball at her feet and nothing but green in front of her, Beil slotted home the game winner, or so she thought. The sideline referee held the flag stiffly into the sky as the whole UConn side mobbed Beil at the corner flag.
UConn was crushed. They had done everything they could and showed up when they needed to, and it still wasn’t enough.
With the tie to Temple, both of their seasons were officially over after a deflated buzzer sounded in the background.
The game had started with immense potential, the Huskies came out of the gates blistering as Sofia Leone buried a header by Morgan Basileo in the 28th minute after a whole host of chances on goal early. They then conceded with less than four minutes to go in the second half, which sent the game to overtime.
UConn controlled the action the whole game, starting off the in early minutes with shut down defense from Regan Schiappa, who nicked the ball away from a streaking Temple attacker in the seventh minute right before they got a shot on net. On the following corner, goalkeeper Randi Palacios punched away the service from Temple.
After a bunch of chances on net from the 20th minute on, UConn got what they were after. Leone directed a Vivien Beil service into the net to put UConn up 1-0. The small audience in attendance let the cheers roar, and the whole team gathered near the corner flag to celebrate their triumphant lead.
They would hold such a lead for 59 minutes until UConn gave away a freekick that would lead to the shot that sunk their season. Temple’s leading goalscorer Hailey Gutowski swerved a header by Palacios on a free kick pass from Emily Keitel to tie it up 1-1.
They ventured into overtime and traded corners and chances to win, but nothing seemed dangerous until the final play that went for naught.
The call from the referee was technically correct, considering the goalkeeper was out of her goal and Beil was behind just one defender, instead of the required two. In a typical situation, the goalkeeper in net would count as the second and it would require just one more defender to be on side. Since Temple had just one player back, even though the footage revealed Beil to be behind her, she was offside.
This game ends UConn’s tenure in The American conference, and in the wildest way possible, they are now onto the Big East.
Mike Mavredakis is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. He tweets @mmavredakis.