Sunday's MAC Women's Soccer Recap

Updated 9/30/2012

Courtesy of MAC Home Sports Information Departments 

Sunday's Women's Soccer Scoreboard - 9/30
Ball St. 1, Ohio 1
Western Michigan 1, Bowling Green 0
 Eastern Michigan 2, Central Michigan 0 
Miami (Ohio) 4, Kent State 2
Northern Illinois 1, Buffalo 1
Toledo 4, Akron 0 
Ball St. 1, Ohio 1
ATHENS, Ohio -- The Ball State soccer team played Ohio to a 1-1 draw on the road Sunday in Mid-American Conference action at Chessa Field.
Sophomore forward Nicole Pembleton scored the Ball State goal, her third of the season, as the Cardinals and Bobcats played a complete, double-overtime contest for the second straight season.
Ball State (5-4-3) is now 2-1-1 in conference play, while Ohio (6-5-1) owns a 1-2-1 league record. The Cardinals will return home to host Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan next weekend at the Briner Sports Complex.
In Sunday's game, Ball State recorded a season-high 30 shots and controlled much of the action, both offensively and defensively. After surrendering a goal in the third minute of play, the Cardinals held the Bobcats scoreless over the final 107 minutes.
"Defensively, after we got through the initial series of the game, we really played well in the back," Ball State coach Craig Roberts said.
Ball State goalkeeper Aubrey Buehler made an initial save on Ohio's scoring play, but Liz Finley was there for the rebound to put the Bobcats on top 1-0.
That lead held until early in the second half when Pembleton scored the equalizer in the 52nd minute. Senior defender Amanda Dreyfus delivered a cross that Ohio keeper Mattie Liston came out of the goal to deflect. Pembleton was there to pick up the deflection and find the net.
That was the last goal either team would score, though it wasn't the last good chance for the Cardinals. Sophomore forward Morgan Whitfield had a close look in the 70th minute. Ball State got back-to-back shots off in the box in the 75th minute. And senior forward Paige Stroinski had a shot just clear the crossbar in the second overtime.
The Cardinals also had a moment in the first half when it looked like they had scored a goal, but it was erased because of an offsides call.
"We didn't get the win, but I am pleased with performance," Roberts said. "I felt if we had closed out some of the opportunities we created, we would have come away with a win."
Whitfield, who Roberts said continues to look more dangerous each game, created several of those scoring opportunities. She finished with a game-high five shots for Ball State and was one of 12 Cardinals to record a shot in the game.
In the net, Buehler finished with five saves for Ball State, while Liston recorded eight saves for Ohio.
Roberts was put in the unique position of having to watch Sunday's game from the stands after receiving a pair of yellow cards in Ball State's previous contest. It was a situation he had never experienced before, but he was happy with the way his team competed without him on the sideline.
"I was pleased with how (assistant coach) Marcie (Klebanow) handled team," Roberts said. "They played with maturity and did what they needed to do. They didn't let the adversity get to them."
Eastern Michigan 2, Central Michigan 0 
YPSILANTI, Mich. ( — The Eastern Michigan University women's soccer team captured sole possession of first place in the Mid-American Conference West Division with a 2-0 shutout over Central Michigan University Sunday afternoon, Sept. 30, at Scicluna Field. The Eagles (7-3-1; 4-0-0 MAC) won their fourth straight contest and handed the Chippewas (7-4-1; 3-1-0 MAC) their first conference loss of the year.
Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Jenna O'Dell was superb, making five saves including several critical stops in the second half en route to her fourth shutout and seventh victory of the season. Angela Vultaggio scored the game-winner for a second straight match for her fifth of the year in the 36th minute. Fellow sophomore Martha Stevens added the insurance marker in the 72nd minute for the first goal of her career.
Junior Stephanie Clarke also registered a point on the afternoon with an assist on Vultaggio's goal, while Vultaggio and junior Cara Cutaia were credited with helpers on Stevens' tally. Vultaggio's three-point afternoon gave her the team lead with 15, while Cutaia racked up her 14th point.
The Eagles last won four straight games Sept. 14-26, 2008.
For the Chippewas, goalkeeper Stefanie Turner took the loss to fall to 5-3-1 on the season. Kaely Scholsser led the team offensively with seven shots (one on goal) for CMU, which outshot EMU overall, 25-13. EMU edged Central Michigan in shots on goal, 6-5.
Central Michigan controlled the tempo early, swarming the EMU goal with shots and several quality scoring chances. The visitors nearly took an early lead in the 12th minute with a pair of shots off a corner kick; the second of which was deflected away by O'Dell.
Following that near-scare, the Eagles turned up the pressure on their opponent, controlling play for the majority of the remaining 30 minutes of the first half. In the 21st minute, an EMU corner kick sailed into the box, where sophomore Bianca Rossi fired a point-blank shot. With Turner making the initial save, Rossi sent another shot straight up in the air, which Turner also corralled.
Fifteen minutes later, Clarke controlled the ball in the CMU zone. She played a pass up toward the box, where Vultaggio and a Chippewas defender battled one-on-one for the ball. Both players briefly lost track of the ball before Vultaggio found it and sent a booming kick from 20 yards out into the top-left corner of the net for a 1-0 EMU advantage.
Rossi nearly made it a two-goal affair with six minutes remaining in the opening half when she sent a skipping shot just past the right goalpost. Senior Jessica Thomas then prevented the Chippewas from adding the equalizer with three minutes to go when she blocked a Christen Chiesa shot in front of the goal.
The Chippewas came out of the break on the attack, but O'Dell extinguished the early momentum when she stoned Laura Twidle with a diving save to her right side.
Crisp passing by the Eagles led to the game's second goal in the 72nd minute. Vultaggio raced up the right side of the field and forwarded a pass to Cutaia. Cutaia then found Stevens, who raced past a pair of CMU defenders and broke in alone on goal. Stevens chipped the ball over a sliding Turner and into the goal to bring the home crowd to its feet.
CMU pressured for the remaining 20 minutes, but the EMU defense and O'Dell remained strong. O'Dell made one final terrific save on Schlosser with six minutes remaining to seal the shutout for the Eagles and a fourth-consecutive MAC victory.
Eastern Michigan looks to keep its streak alive with a game against Ball State University Friday, Oct. 5, in Muncie, Ind. Game time is set for 3 p.m.
Miami (Ohio) 4, Kent State 2
KENT, Ohio - In a back-and-forth affair, the Miami University women's soccer team had an answer for Kent State each time it pulled even as the RedHawks earned a hard-fought, 4-2, victory Sunday afternoon at Zoeller Field. With the win, Miami (10-2-0, 4-0-0 Mid-American Conference) picked up its third straight win over the Golden Flashes (6-3-2, 1-2-1 MAC) and extended its win streak to a season-long five games, its longest since a six-game streak in 2010.
The RedHawks' 10 wins this year already surpass their win total from 2011 while the 10-2 record is Miami's best since starting 14-2-0 in 1999. The 4-0 start in league play is Miami's best start since opening 6-0-0 in 2002. The RedHawks also remained perfect on the road at 6-0-0 in 2012, the first time in program history Miami has won its first six games away from home.
"What a battle," an enthusiastic head coach Bobby Kramig said after the game. "It was just a super hard-fought, physical game. I'm very pleased with how our kids responded to not only the difficult conditions and the physicality of the game but also having the lead and being pulled back level twice. We responded so positively on both occasions, I'm really pleased."
The first 20 minutes of the match were mostly controlled by Kent State as the Flashes fired two shots, one of which had to be saved by redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Allison Norenberg (Palatine, Ill.). The RedHawks broke through first however, in the 29th minute when senior captain Jess Kodiak (Naperville, Ill.) tallied her team-leading eighth goal of the year. Junior Kayla Zakrzewski (London, Ont.) set up the play with a cross into the box and freshman Haley Walter (Cincinnati, Ohio) put the initial shot toward goal that was blocked but Kodiak was there to clean up the rebound, putting Miami up 1-0.
The Golden Flashes responded just over eight minutes later, leveling the match on a goal by Hannah Newhouse. Stephanie Haugh and Megan Repas picked up the assists on the play, as Newhouse scored from the right side only a few yards away from goal. The teams went in to the break even at 1-1 with KSU holding a slim, 4-3 edge in shots. Norenberg's save was the only one for either squad in the opening 45 minutes. The Flashes took the only corner kick of the period in the 12th minute.
Sophomore Kelsey Dinges (Smithton, Ill.) regained the lead for the 'Hawks in the 56th minute on a blast from the top of the box that was placed perfectly out of the KSU keeper's reach. Junior Katy Dolesh (Chardon, Ohio) picked up the helper on Dinges' sixth goal of the season. Once more, Kent State returned the favor as Kathrine Beattie logged her first goal of the year seven minutes after Dinges' to make it a 2-2 contest. Jaclyn Dutton earned the assist on the goal.
Miami was not to be outdone Sunday, as the RedHawks kept the pressure on and took a 3-2 lead in the 70th minute. Freshman defender Lauren Kelly (Manhattan, Ill.) recorded her first career goal and point as she cleaned up a loose ball in the box for the eventual game-winner. After a corner kick was sent in, the ball was knocked around and bounced out to Kelly, who slammed it home. Junior Sam Parrish (Noblesville, Ind.) garnered her second career assist on the score.
"Of course how many of those have we had this year that we haven't finished," Kramig joked of the loose ball in the box. "We've been making an issue of it in practice so for her to step up and crack it from maybe six yards out, she nailed it, which is what you have to do on those."
Dolesh then secured the victory with her fourth goal of the season with just over three minutes remaining. She gathered the ball on Miami's side of the field and charged through the midfield, flying past the KSU defense before rocketing the ball upper 90 from just outside the box to close out the 4-2 win.
"Anytime you can come out of here with something, you're pleased," Kramig said of playing in Kent. "Kent's the real deal. They just came flying at us; they're dangerous on restarts and good in the air. It was a physical game and that's not something we've always responded well to but we did today."
Even with the loss, the Golden Flashes outshot Miami, 15-13, and held a 7-4 advantage in corner kicks, including 6-4 in the second stanza. Dolesh led the 'Hawks with four shots while Dutton took five for KSU. Norenberg finished with five saves as did Stephanie Senn for the Flashes, all coming in the final 45 minutes.
"I told the team at halftime, some games just have to be won on courage and character and that certainly what today was all about," Kramig said. "I'm just absolutely delighted with the result and the attitude and effort put in by our team."
Miami returns home next weekend looking to remain unbeaten in MAC play and extend its win streak when it hosts Western Michigan Friday, Oct. 5 and Eastern Michigan Sunday, Oct. 7, which will be Senior Day.
Northern Illinois 1, Buffalo 1
BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Northern Illinois women’s soccer team earned its second draw of the season Sunday afternoon at Buffalo, 1-1. Following their win Friday and the tie this afternoon, it was the first time since Oct. 17 and 19, 2008 at Buffalo and Kent State that the Huskies (5-4-1, 1-1-2 MAC) secured a win and at least a tie on the road.
“The team fought hard today against quality opponent in Buffalo,” said Head Coach John Ross, “we didn’t create very many quality chances for ourselves and their keeper did a good job of stopping the opportunities we had. I’m happy with our four points this weekend though, it was good weekend overall.”
NIU opened the scoring in the contest in the 17th minute of play. Junior Frances Boukidis, the game-winning scorer Friday night at Akron, crossed the ball from her right wing position to the 18-yard box to Cori Frankenberg, who dumped the ball to freshman Sara Spaulding, who chipped the ball high over goalkeeper Sarah Moore into the left side of the net.
“Sara did a great job to get the goal today” added Ross, “she’s been working hard in practice and it was good to say that hard work pay off today.”
Buffalo (2-8-2, 0-3-1 MAC) drew even in the 54th minute of play when Stephanie Velez tapped a goal into the left siding of the net. N’Dea Johnson crossed the ball to Taylor Thompson who dished to Velez for the finish.
Northern Illinois battled to break the tie in the match, outshooting the Bulls 16-9 in the second half in the ensuing overtime periods. The Huskies outshot Buffalo 8-2 in both overtime periods. Moore, the UB goalkeeper, made 11 saves in the match. Frankenberg finished with six shots in the match.
The Huskies will return to action Friday Oct. 5 when it hosts Ball State at 4 p.m. at NIU Soccer Complex.
Toledo 4, Akron 0
AKRON, OH - Toledo wrapped up a fantastic weekend with a 2-1 triumph against Akron on Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium - Cub Cabet Field. The Rockets also claimed a 3-0 shutout victory at Buffalo on Friday to improve to 4-7-1 overall, 2-1-1 in the Mid-American Conference.
"This was an important weekend for us in a lot of ways," said two-time reigning MAC Coach of the Year Brad Evans, whose squad won back-to-back matches this weekend for the first time this season. "We were able to show ourselves that we could discover different ways to claim points on the road. It doesn't get any bigger than having two seniors step up on the road on a Sunday and deliver such valuable goals."
Seniors Megan Blake and Kristen Mattei each found the back of the net for the first time in 2012 to help the two-time reigning MAC regular-season champions move to 10-1-1 all time against the Zips.
The cross-division rivals exchanged shots in the first half before Blake gave the Midnight Blue & Gold a 1-0 advantage on a header off a corner kick from sophomore Kirsten Catloth at 44:03. Last fall, Blake scored one of her three goals on the season against Akron at Scott Park.
Akron (4-7-0, 0-4-0 MAC) knotted the score at 1-1 on Ashley Hughes' team-high fourth tally of the season at the 62:33 mark. The goal was setup on helpers from Amber Kern and Katie Wise to draw the teams even.
Mattei then delivered her second match-winning score versus the Zips when she knocked home a free ball in the UA goal box following a corner kick. Two years ago on this same pitch, Mattei tallied her first collegiate score in the 106th minute to give UT a 1-0 double-overtime shutout win. Sophomore Alexis Tice was credited with the assist. 
Between the posts, sophomore Kelsey Borowitz went the distance for the second time this weekend and was credited with two stops to record the important road victory.
For the match, UA finished with a slight 9-7 edge in shots, including Kelly DeNiro's game-high three shots. Freshman Megan Connor led the Rockets' attack with two shots. 
"Today we challenged ourselves to work through this contest mentally," Borowitz said. "We came off Friday's first MAC win and had to prove to ourselves that we could perform since we've struggled in Sunday matches so far this season. Today was an important milestone for our team to mentally push through and finish with a win."
The Rockets will look to continue their recent momentum when they open a season-long four-match home stand against MAC West Division rival Central Michigan on Friday, Oct. 5. The opening whistle is slated for 4:00 p.m. at Scott Park.
Western Michigan 1, Bowling Green 0
KALAMAZOO -- The Western Michigan women’s soccer team ended a six-game winless streak defeating Bowling Green 1-0 on Sunday afternoon at the WMU Socer Complex.
A 19th minute goal by Diana Dedvukaj was all WMU (5-5-2, 1-1-2 MAC) needed to get past the struggling Falcons (1-10-1, 0-2-1 MAC). Junior goalkeeper Michelle Watson made two saves in the Broncos’ third shutout of the season. The win was WMU’s first Mid-American Conference win of the season along with head coach Nate Norman’s first career MAC victory. 
A ball was played into the midfield and was corralled by sophomore midfielder Rachel Chaney. Chaney played a through ball that split BGSU’s two center backs and Dedvukaj snuck in behind them. Falcon goalkeeper Jenna Underwood came out to challenged Dedvukaj but the sophomore forward dribbled around her and calmly deposited it in the net. The goal was Dedvukaj’s second of the season and the first goal for WMU in four games. The assist was Chaney’s first of the season. 
The Broncos were able to hold the Falcons to just four shots in the second half, with only two of them landing on net. In total WMU outshot BGSU 16-11 with shots on goal being tied at 4-4. Senior Anina Cicerone led all players with a game-high six shots.
Western Michigan heads on the road next weekend at Miami on Friday and then to Ball State on Sunday.