Monday, November 6, 2006
Women’s soccer captures Mid-Con title
|Oakland’s women’s soccer team won the 2006 Mid-Con Tournament. |
Sophomore All-Mid-Continent Conference midfielder Jessica Boyle was named tournament MVP as she helped lead Oakland’s women’s soccer team to the title in the Mid-Con Tournament. The number two seeded Golden Grizzlies battled to a 1-1 draw through two overtimes with fourth-seeded Western Illinois and won the ensuing shootout 4-3 to claim their fifth Mid-Con championship in eight seasons and advance to the NCAA Tournament next weekend.
Boyle was also named to the All-Tournament team along with senior Mid-Con Defensive Player of the Year Cat Panabaker, junior All-Mid-Con defender Kristi Mitchell and senior All-Mid-Con forward Marianne Samdal.
“Western Illinois did a good job. They had a good game plan and took away some of our strengths, so I give them credit for playing a smart game. We’re just happy to get the win in penalty kicks,” head coach Nick O’Shea said. “We practiced all week on those and it was good to see them come through in that situation.”
The opening 10 minutes of the game were played mainly in the midfield with the Westerwinds controlling possession, but unable to start an attack. The remainder of the first half was played mainly in the midfield with Western Illinois controlling possession time, but not by an overwhelming margin. Neither team found success in generating quality scoring chances and the teams remained scoreless at intermission.
Western Illinois gained possession early in the second half and attacked, keeping the pressure on the OU defense for nearly 20 minutes. Boyle broke open the game, scoring her third goal of the year in the 74th minute to give Oakland the 1-0 lead. Samdal earned an assist on the play as she received a cross pass from the left side and brought it down, sending it forward to Boyle at the right post. The lead would last just three minutes as WIU’s Bess Rapp evened the score 1-1 in the 77th minute. Regulation ended deadlocked 1-1.
The Golden Grizzlies stepped it up a notch in the first overtime, creating better quality scoring opportunities than their earlier efforts. Oakland turned their game up another notch in the second overtime, generating two scoring opportunities and allowing none. The defense smothered the Westerwinds, not allowing them to pass the ball with the efficiency they had displayed earlier in the game. OU was unable to convert their shots, however, and when the second overtime expired, the game was decided with penalty kicks.
The Golden Grizzlies await the NCAA Tournament pairings which will be announced Monday at 5 p.m.
For more information on Oakland’s women’s soccer team, visit the OU Athletics Web site.