ADRIAN, Mich. – The Adrian College women's soccer team punched its ticket to the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association's (MIAA) Championship Match by defeating Calvin College 3-0 in the semifinals on Wednesday, Oct. 31.
Final Score: #2 Adrian 3, #3 Calvin 0
Location: Adrian, Mich. (Kapnick Field at Docking Stadium)
Records: Adrian 13-5-1 (7-1 MIAA), Calvin 10-5-3 (4-2-2 MIAA)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Neither team could find the back of the net in the first half, with Adrian having the best chance of the first half in the third minute. Junior Caroline Fleming got in behind the Calvin defense and had only the keeper to beat but couldn't put it by for a goal.
The Bulldogs would be able to break the tie shortly after halftime, as freshman McKenna Mahoney scored in the 52nd minute. Senior Rachel Rodeheffer took a free kick from a few yards on the Adrian side of the field and found sophomore Mya Oleksiak in the offensive third. Oleksiak headed the ball to sophomore Megan Louwers, who used her chest to direct the ball to Mahoney. Mahoney took the ball and dribbled into space at the top of the box and put the ball into the left post on the short-side to give the Bulldogs the 1-0 lead.
Adrian kept its foot on the gas and were rewarded two minutes later when Fleming found the back of the net in the 54th minute. Fleming received the ball from junior Brooke Teska on the left side of the offensive zone and made a nice double move on her defender to create space. Fleming then sent a high, looping shot towards the far post where the ball went over the keeper's head and across the line to double the lead.
The Black and Gold would get one more insurance goal in the 79th minute when Louwers scored a goal of her own. Junior Kimberly Lindberg took a corner from the left side and played it short to Teska. Teska gave the ball right back to Lindberg, who sent a beautiful cross into the box where Louwers was able to head home the final blow to seal the win and secure Adrian's place in the championship.
The victory gives the Bulldogs a three-match winning streak over the Knights dating back to last season, the longest winning streak Adrian has had against Calvin. The 3-0 decision is also the largest margin of victory AC has had over the Knights.
• Mahoney, Fleming, and Louwers all scored for the Bulldogs.
• Louwers, Oleksiak, Lindberg, and Teska added assists.
• Junior Ayverie Giller made six saves in the clean sheet. Adrian's defense has now posted four consecutive clean sheets and have only allowed four goals in its last 13 matches.
• Kali Mouw led the Knights with three shots on goal.
"The first half was relatively sloppy for both sides. Neither team could establish a rhythm or momentum and we just weren't generating much in the way of a dangerous attack. Calvin did a really nice job of pressing our mids, but we made some adjustments at halftime and finally started clicking." – Head Coach Ali Alamdari
"We feel like we have the style of attack that can be dangerous at any moment when we're playing to our ability, so it's great to see six players with a goal or assist tonight in such a big match. That second goal in particular coming so quickly after the first was huge in making sure that we wouldn't be in for a long second half as Calvin's attack gained momentum." – Alamdari
"One of the things that we talked about before the game was the sacrifices that our players have made to get our program into these games. Every single person on our sideline has given something up in order for this team to rise, and we're grateful that those sacrifices have provided us the chance to fight for an MIAA Championship on Saturday." - Alamdari
The Bulldogs travel to Holland, Mich. on Saturday to take on #1 seed and No. 17 in the country Hope in the MIAA Championship at noon. This is Adrian's second appearance in the MIAA Championship, with the first coming in 2011. The Flying Dutch are making their seventh consecutive appearance in the championship match, and have won the previous two.
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