COLUMBUS, Ohio — The 2017 Great Midwest Athletic Conference women's soccer season will come down to a championship match between Ohio Dominican's women's soccer team and Ohio Valley on Saturday.
Kickoff is slated for 2 p.m. at Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio in a matchup between the top two seeded teams in the conference.
About Ohio Dominican
A win for Ohio Dominican (15-4-1, 11-2-1 G-MAC) would earn ODUWS its 16th victory of the season, an all-time season high in the 18-year history of the program. A victory in the conference final would also punch ODU's ticket into the 2017 NCAA Division II Women's Soccer Tournament and allow the Panthers to dance for the second time in four years after qualifying for the NCAA Tournament in 2014. Ohio Dominican earned a GLIAC regular season championship that season, but a win over Ohio Valley Saturday would give the Panthers their first postseason conference championship in the program's NCAA Division II era.
"Our girls will be very excited to get out and get after it," Ohio Dominican head coach Aimee Haywood said following the Panthers' 2-0 win over Walsh on Thursday. "We're excited for a great match on Saturday."
ODU advanced to the Great Midwest final by way of 2-0 shutouts over Kentucky Wesleyan and Walsh in the first two rounds of the conference tournament. The Panthers have outscored their opponents 11-0 in their last three contests and have notched eight shutouts in 2017.
Senior midfielder Lauren Bates (Hilliard, Ohio) and sophomore forward Becca Gordon (Johnstown, Ohio) scored in ODU's win over Walsh. Bates has scored in seven-straight matches for Ohio Dominican with nine goals during the span. She leads the team in scoring this season with 15 goals on the year. Gordon has also produced at a high rate offensively in the last six matches for the Panthers, scoring seven goals and dishing out two assists during the span. In just her last three matches, Gordon has tallied 12 points.
Junior keeper Marissa Wierzbicki (Powell, Ohio) was named first team All-Great Midwest on Wednesday night and has anchored the Panther defense all season long, boasting 15 wins and a goals against average of 0.97.
About Ohio Valley
No. 20 Ohio Valley is seeking its first conference championship in program history and carries an unbeaten, 16-0-2 (12-0-1 G-MAC) mark into the match. The Fighting Scots are currently ranked third in the NCAA Division II Midwest Region with Ohio Dominican sitting seventh.
OVU head coach Luis Rincon earned Great Midwest Coach of the Year honors after leading both the men's and women's programs at Ohio Valley to regular season conference championships. The Fighting Scots also saw sophomore defender Ana Da Costa and freshman midfielder Konstantina Giannou earn defensive and offensive player of the year honors in the conference.
Ohio Valley topped Ohio Dominican 3-0 in the two teams' only meeting on September 23, with two of the Fighting Scots' goals coming on penalty kicks. ODU held a slight 17-16 edge in shots over the Fighting Scots and a 5-2 advantage in corner kicks in the match.
Track the Match
Live broadcast and stats for the 2017 Great Midwest women's soccer championship will be available through the Great Midwest Digital Network, and full coverage of the 2017 Great Midwest women's soccer tournament is available on the conference website.
Contact: Aaron McPherson