This is the first weekly installment in the "Top 30 Moments" feature to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the East Coast Conference.
Heading into their game on November 19, 2017, Mercy College's women's soccer team had already put together a storybook season. Thanks to heroics from senior goalkeeper, Ashley Price, the final chapter of their amazing run would not be written that day.
Less than two weeks prior, the Mavericks won a second ECC Championship in four seasons after beating LIU Post for the first time in program history in the conference tournament final. Another win over LIU Post on November 17 gave Mercy its first-ever NCAA East Region Championship and sent the Mavericks to an NCAA Quarterfinal date with West Chester, champions of the Atlantic Region.
With a Final Four berth on the line, Mercy struck first on a first-half goal from Natalia Elizarraras. West Chester received an equalizer from Kaitlyn McNamara on a penalty kick with just over eight minutes left in regulation. After two scoreless overtime periods, the match would be decided by penalty kicks.
Mercy Head Coach, Jonathan Feinstein, decided to make a switch at goalie in the shootout. After 110 minutes on the bench, in came the senior Price. West Chester connected on their first three tries, but Mercy answered each time.
In the fourth round, Price stopped a shot from Mandy McCarthy and then Heidi Serna followed with a successful try to put Mercy up 4-3 heading into the final round.
Shannon Cooley was last to step up to the penalty spot for West Chester. A successful shot would keep their hopes alive, but Price had other ideas.
Cooley sent a low line drive to the left-hand corner but Price made a dive to her right to deflect the ball harmlessly away from the net and set off a jubilant celebration by the Mavs.
At the time, Mercy became just the third women's soccer team in ECC history to advance to the Final Four, joining Adelphi in 2004 and Bridgeport in 2015 (Bridgeport also made a Final Four appearance on their way to a National Championship in 2018).
The Mavericks fell short of winning the National Championship, falling to eventual National Champion, Central Missouri State by a score of 3-0 in the semifinals. Mercy finished the year with an 18-4-1 record and ranked No. 3 in the United Soccer Coaches Division II Top 25 poll.