In the middle of the first half of Belmont's Atlantic Sun semifinal match with Stetson, the Bruins' Annie Musacchio approached the scorer's table to enter the contest. However, in a moment of confusion, the officials ruled she had checked into the match and later pulled back, thus costing her any chance to play in the first 45 minutes.
"I went to go sub in and the fourth official told me I had already been in - and I guess the rule is that once you check in, you must enter on the next play and...they said we missed it," Musacchio said. "It was confusing because I checked in when the ball was out and they said I should have gone in on that play. The reason given was that I missed my opportunity."
Belmont's second leading score was forced to endure the final 20+ minutes of the opening half from the sidelines as she watched her teammates dominate play, but fail to net a goal. When the second half began, the senior took to the field looking to atone for lost time.
"It was pins and needles...I was excited to get on the field and do my part," she said. "We had so many great opportunities...we hit the post, we had it in the six so many times. We were going to finish, it was just a matter of time. It was a rush of emotion...I wanted to make every minute count."
In the 83rd minute, the Nashville, Tenn., native had her chance, facing a free kick from 30 yards out in a still scoreless match, Musacchio struck a perfect shot, glancing off the crossbar and into the net for the game's lone goal and sending the reigning champs back to the title game.
"When we played them in the regular season, we tied them 1-1 and that exact same play was our tying goal," Musacchio said. "It was cathartic almost to score that goal after the first half."
Should a similar situation present itself during Saturday's title game match, Musacchio will not allow for a repeat of Thursday to take place.
"Assuming I will be coming off the bench [on Saturday] I will make sure I am on guard coming in," "This is such a great feeling, I'm so proud of all our girls and we are looking forward to Saturday."
For the full Annie Musacchio interview, listen here