MARIETTA, Ohio — Two second half goals earned Ohio Dominican's women's soccer team a 2-0 win over Walsh in a Great Midwest Athletic Conference semifinal match on Thursday at Don Drumm Stadium on the campus of Marietta College.
ODU (15-4-1, 11-2-1 G-MAC) advances to its second conference championship in the program's NCAA Division II era and will carry a season-long six-match win streak into the Great Midwest Championship, which is set for Saturday at 2 p.m. at Muskingum University. The Panthers will face the winner of Ohio Valley and Ursuline, which square off in the second Great Midwest semifinal Thursday.
The conference semifinals and championship were originally set to be played at Ohio Valley University in Vienna, West Virginia, but heavy rain in the area this week forced Thursday's conference semifinal matches to Marietta and Saturday's conference championship to Muskingum.
Ohio Dominican held a 9-7 advantage in shots over the Cavaliers in the second half and recorded its second-straight shutout and eighth of the 2017 season.
Senior Lauren Bates (Hilliard, Ohio) scored her 15th goal of the season in the win and enters Saturday's conference championship match third all-time in ODUWS history for goals in a single season. Also scoring en route to victory was sophomore Becca Gordon (Johnstown, Ohio), who notched her ninth goal of the season and fifth goal in her last three matches. Gordon also recorded an assist and has tallied 12 points in her last three contests.
Despite being outshot 11-3 in the first half, the Panthers held a slight 3-2 advantage in shots on goal and remained tied with Walsh 0-0 at halftime.
But the scoring opened for ODU in the second half. Gordon notched her ninth goal of the year on a penalty kick after a Walsh foul in the box in the 46th minute, giving the Panthers a 1-0 lead.
Bates gave the Panthers a commanding 2-0 lead in the 58th minute. Gordon took the corner kick for ODU, finding Bates in the close middle of the box. Bates headed in her 15th strike of the season, pushing ODU's lead to 2-0.
The Panther defense held Walsh to five shots over the final 32 minutes. Junior keeper Marissa Wierzbicki (Powell, Ohio) tallied six saves after being named first team All-Great Midwest on Wednesday, notching her 15th win of the year.
A win in the Great Midwest championship Saturday would earn ODU a program-record 16 wins and its second NCAA Tournament bid in the last four years.
ODU will await the winner of Ohio Valley and Ursuline and prepare for the Great Midwest Championship Saturday.
Contact: Aaron McPherson