Game story courtesy of Central Michigan Media Relations
Marquette 1, Central Michigan 0
MILWAUKEE, Wis. - Central Michigan saw its season come to an end by the hands of No. 12 Marquette in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Friday, 1-0.
The Chippewas (16-5-1) came out on the offensive, with senior Valerie Prause firing the game's first shot eight minutes into the contest. The Chippewas continued to maintain offensive possession early in the first half, setting up a shot by sophomore Laura Twidle that went wide left in the 14th minute.
The Maroon and Gold's best scoring chance of the first half came in the 21st minute on a free kick by junior Liesel Toth. After a touch by Prause in the box, Twidle found herself one-on-one with Marquette goalkeeper, Natalie Kulla. The second-year player was unable to get enough on the kick and Kulla corralled the ball to keep the game scoreless.
Marquette's Maegan Kelly nearly gave the Golden Eagles (16-4-2) a lead of their own in the 33rd minute when she snuck behind the Chippewa defense and found herself one-on-one with senior goalkeeper Shay Mannino. Kelly's attempt to flick the ball over Mannino's head was unsuccessful, as the senior made a spectacular stretching save over her head to keep the score tied, 0-0, at halftime.
The Chippewas out shot the Golden Eagles 4-3 in the first half with Mannino making two saves.
Just four minutes into the second half, Mannino came up big again, making back-to-back saves between the pipes. Marquette's Rachael Sloan found her way behind the CMU defense and attempted a shot that squeaked through only to see Mannino dive on the loose ball for a save. Thirty seconds later, Lauren Acree fired a shot from the right side of the box and Mannino made a diving save to her right, clearing the ball and the score remained all square.
Marquette broke the tie in the 60th minute of the contest on Sloan's seventh goal of the season. Rachel Brown was credited with an assist after she fired a pass through two CMU defenders to a streaking Sloan who went low on her shot, finding the back of the net.
The Chippewas nearly tied the game in the 74th minute on a long throw by sophomore Bailey Brandon. Freshman Nicole Samuel gathered a loose ball on the throw inside the 18-yard box, only to turn and fire a shot that was saved by Kulla. The ball rolled to the left side of the box where Twidle found herself with an open net, but her attempt to squeeze her shot inside the left post was blocked by a Marquette defender and the Golden Eagles cleared the ball, killing the Chippewas chance at a comeback.
Mannino finished the final game of her career with six saves in 79:53 protecting the net. The loss dropped her to 13-3-1 on the season. The senior finishes her career as it's all-time leader in wins, shutouts and goals-against average.