With three gates until the finish line, Vonn's run fell apart with a very wide turn, and she held her head in her hands after crossing the line.
"I saw just my mum".
She did win gold in the giant slalom, but now has just one more shot to win her second gold medal of the games.
Vonn said she would be watching film of Goggia's training runs to see if she could get some ideas for the best line to take, especially in the lower section where others had complained it was hard to maintain speed.
Ms. Vonn made headlines in December after she told CNN that she would be representing the people of the United States in the winter games, "not the president". As she choked up again, she said: "It's sad!"
"I gave it my best shot", she said.
"That's pretty much what it will take I think to pull alpine out of the graveyard".
Vonn plans to enter the combined, pass on the team event, then stick around the World Cup circuit long enough to break the all-time record of 86 wins set by Sweden's Ingemar Stenmark. "I haven't changed my mind", Vonn said on Saturday.
Vonn said she and Goggia shared a friendship based on them being "100 per cent crazy". But last month, Vonn showed she is far from finished.
Despite missing nearly two years of skiing since the Sochi Games and modest support herself, Small wants to help in bringing about change.
Her family's contribution now constitutes seven of the 10 Olympic medals won by skiers from Liechtenstein.
Be it a jarred back, fractured humerus or season-ending injuries that include a fractured left ankle (2016), wrecked right knee (2014) and left knee (2013), Vonn has suffered a catalogue of mishaps that has left her relying on more than a couple of reconstructed body parts.
Mikaela Shiffrin, 22, from Team USA, who came in fourth in the alpine skiing slalom a day earlier and disappointed her fans, chose to sit out the Super-G, which would have been her third day of continuous racing, to the rest.