2012 MAC Women's Soccer Tournament Pairings Set

Updated 10/25/2012

MAC Women's Soccer 2012 Tournament Bracket 

2012 MAC Women's Soccer Tournament Pairings (at higher seed campus site)
No. 2 Central Michigan vs. No. 7 Northern Illinois, 12 p.m.
No. 1 Miami  vs. No. 8 Ohio , 1 p.m.
No. 3 Eastern Michigan vs. No. 6 Toledo, 1 p.m.
No. 4  Kent State vs. No. 5 Ball State, 1 p.m

Thursday's MAC Women's Soccer Results - 10/25
Akron 2, Buffalo 1
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Junior midfielder Kelly DeNiro scored the game-winning goal in the 92nd minute as the University of Akron women's soccer team rallied past Buffalo, 2-1 in overtime, in its season finale Thursday afternoon in a Mid-American Conference match at UB Stadium. After UB took the lead in the 73rd minute on a penalty kick, the Zips equalized with a goal from senior forward Ashley Hughes in the 80th minute and DeNiro tallied the winner on a direct free kick in overtime.

"We knew coming in that unfortunately this was our last game of the season, but we had the opportunity to end the season with a win," said interim head coach Vernon Croft. "The easy thing for this team to do was quit, but they continued to battle and that came through today with a result. It was finally time for us to win a one-goal game in overtime and it was because of the heart and commitment our players showed to each other. I couldn't be more proud."
The Bulls' Courtney Gross – the twin sister of Akron junior defender Gillian Gross – took the game's first shot in the third minute which went over the crossbar and Buffalo earned the first corner kick of the match five minutes later.
Akron (6-11-1, 2-8-1 MAC) drew a free kick 25 yards from goal 10 minutes into the game, but Hughes' shot was blocked by the UB defense. In the 21st minute, the Zips won their first corner and a shot from junior midfielder Maggie Rusnak resulted, but her effort went wide.
Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Alex Luevano-Harden made a big save in the 28th minute off shot from Shannon Fisher to keep the Bulls off the board. DeNiro (31') and Hughes (45') each had shot attempts for the Zips that went wide right of goal as Luevano-Harden would total four saves in the first half for Akron to preserve a scoreless first half.
Hughes put Akron's first shot on frame just 29 seconds into the second period, but UB goalie Ainsley Wheldon made the stop, while senior midfielder Katie Wise had another chance at 51 minutes, but her strike was wide of the right post.
Senior midfielder Kirsten Schulte, who made her first start of the season, had an opportunity to give the Zips the lead in the 59th minute, but her attempt on a breakaway was saved by Wheldon. DeNiro put a shot just wide in the 70th minute, but Buffalo (5-12-2, 3-7-1 MAC) opened the scoring at 72:07 when Stephanie Velez converted a penalty kick after the Zips were whistled for a handball in the box.
UA answered with the equalizer just over seven minutes later at 79:20 when sophomore midfielder Karina Atkinson's cross from the right side of the box found Hughes who finished with a shot from the top of the box that hit the crossbar and went in for her team-leading eighth score of the season.
The match remained tied after 90 minutes and UA was forced to play into overtime for the third consecutive game and fourth time overall this season. But, just 1:11 into the extra period, DeNiro scored the game-winner on a free kick from 30 yards out in the center of the park as her strike beat Wheldon to the top left corner to give Akron the 2-1 victory.
Freshman Klaire Adee followed Luevano-Harden in goal, playing the second half and overtime, while registering three saves.

Ball State 1, Miami (Ohio) 1
OXFORD, Ohio -- The Ball State soccer team did something Thursday that no other team in the Mid-American Conference has done all year; it didn’t lose to Miami University.

The Cardinals played the RedHawks to a 1-1 draw on the road in the final game of the regular season. Miami had won each of its previous 10 conference contests.
With the victory, Ball State will enter the MAC Tournament with a record of 8-6-5 (5-3-3 MAC). The Cardinals will be the No. 5 seed and will play a quarterfinal game Sunday at No. 4 seed Kent State.
Miami concluded the regular season at 16-2-1 (10-0-1 MAC) and will be the tournament’s top seed.
Ball State managed Thursday’s result despite playing short-handed because of some injuries. Freshman Morgan Whitfield rose to the occasion to score the Cardinals’ goal. It was the first collegiate goal for Whitfield, who took a pass from Alyssa Ables in the 38th minute and angled a shot past Miami goalkeeper Allison Norenberg and into the net.
“It was a great finish by Morgan,” Ball State coach Craig Roberts said. “She struck ball with her left foot from the left side and had enough power that the goalkeeper couldn’t handle it.”
Whitfield’s goal evened the game after Miami had scored first on a goal from Haley Walter in the 11th minute. Walter scored on a header off a corner kick from teammate Jess Kodiak.
Both teams gave themselves other opportunities, but those two first-half goals proved to be the only scores of the day. Ball State and Miami held each other scoreless over the entire second half and 20 minutes of overtime.
The Cardinals had a great chance in the closing minutes of the second overtime period with Nicole Pembleton on the attack, but Norenberg made an outstanding save to keep the game knotted at 1-1.
Ball State managed to limit the top-scoring team in the MAC to just one goal for the afternoon. Miami entered the game averaging 2.72 goals per contest.
“I thought it was a great game and both teams fought very hard,” Roberts said. “I was disappointed about our marking on the corner kick that led to their goal, but it is something we corrected.”
Miami managed to attempt 20 shots and put eight of them on goal, but Ball State goalkeeper Aubrey Buehler recorded a season-high seven saves to preserve the tie.

Central Michigan 4, Bowling Green 0
CMU Women’s Soccer Claims 2nd Seed in MAC Tournament, MAC West with 4-0 Win at Bowling Green

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - Seniors Samantha Brenz and Charlese McLemore scored their first goals of the season to boost the Central Michigan women’s soccer team to a 4-0 win at Bowling Green Thursday afternoon, clinching the second seed in the Mid-American Conference Tournament and the MAC West Division title.
The Chippewas (13-5-1, 9-2-0 MAC) outshot the Falcons (1-17-1, 0-10-1 MAC) 23-7overall and held a 14-4 shots on goal advantage en route to their 10th shutout of the season and their third MAC West Division title since the conference switch to the divisional format in 2009.
CMU's opponent for its first round match will be officially announced later this evening.
“It’s always nice when younger players have success because it gives them a  little taste of the bigger goal, which is winning the MAC Championship, not just the division,” head coach Neil Stafford said. “We’re still very proud of the division title because we feel that we play in a very tough division.”
Seniors Brenz and McLemore each scored goals in helping push the Chippewa seniors to their 61st career victory, the most of any graduating class in program history. With the win the seniors are 61-17-8, ahead of the 60-17-10 mark set by the2011 class.
The defense was spectacular throughout, allowing just one second-half shot on goal in the final minute of play and three the rest of the game. Senior goalkeeper Stefanie Turner and sophomore Grace Labrecque each took turns between the posts to combine for the shutout.
Brenz gave the Chippewas an early 1-0 lead in the 20th minute when she found the back of the net on a header from a pass by junior midfielder Kaely Schlosser.
The Chippewas ratcheted up the offensive intensity in the second half with three goals by three different players on nine shots on goal and 13 total shots and ramped up the defensive pressure allowing just two total shots in the half.
“We put more pressure on Bowling Green in the second half after what we felt was a disappointing first half,” Stafford said. “The players did a good job regrouping at halftime and demanding what they wanted out of each other, and as a result stepped up their game.”
Junior forward Nicole Samuel put the Chippewas up two in the 49th minute with her second goal of the season.
The Chippewas added to their lead twice in the final ten minutes of the match. Sophomore forward Laura Gosse scored on an assist from freshman Christen Chiesa in the 81st minute to give CMU a 3-0 lead. The goal is Gosse’s third of the season, tied for the most on the team
McLemore wrapped up the scoring with her first goal of the season in the 87th minute. Chiesa and junior forward Jennifer Gassman assisted the goal.
McLemore took a game-high three shots on goal, while Gosse and Brenz each took two apiece.
The Chippewas will begin MAC Tournament play with their first-round quarterfinal match at the CMU Soccer Complex Sunday at noon. Their opponent has yet to be announced.

Northern Illinois 2, Toledo 1
TOLEDO, Ohio - The Northern Illinois women's soccer team made a spectacular come from behind effort in the final 21 minutes of its match with Toledo match, trailing, 1-0. Junior Kayra Thompson (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley Northwest) tied the match in the 69th minute and freshman Nicole Gobbo (Bartlett) scored the game-winner to lift the Huskies over the Rockets, 2-1. The win cements NIU into the Mid-American Conference quarterfinals as the No. 7 seed, where it will meet Central Michigan Sunday at 11 a.m. Central.

"This is what we expected at the beginning of the season," said a jovial John Ross after the match on qualifying for the MAC postseason, "we're very excited to have reached the MAC Tournament this year and the girls worked extremely hard to get here. The heart that they played with today was unbelievable. We had a chance to pack it up and close the season today but they fought hard and made a great comeback."
Toledo jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 32nd minute of play with a goal by midfielder Meghan Toplewski, her first of the season. The Rockets (7-11-1, 5-5-1 MAC) held a 4-2 shot advantage over the Huskies (8-8-2, 4-5-2 MAC) in the opening stanza with their goal the only shot on frame.
As time began to dwindle in the match, Northern Illinois still found itself in a hole and Ross called on his back line players to move forward in the attack to help equalize the match. Thompson, who came off the NIU bench with illness, advanced the ball forward, following a slotted pass from junior centre back Courtney Ksiazek (Naperville/Neuqua Valley) and tied the match in the 69th minute, 1-1.
"Kayra really took over the game late," added Ross, "she was feeling under the weather, but she really changed our attitude in the game with her fight and determination on the field. Once she started going after the ball and making tackles, the team started to follow suit. She did great to get that goal."
Seven minutes later in the contest, Gobbo made a fantastic individual effort to separate NIU from Toledo and win the contest in the 77th minute, 2-1. It was Gobbo's second goal of the season and her first game winner of her career.
Goalkeeper Amy Carr (Hemel Hempstead, England/Townsend Church of England) played a vital role at the end of the match as she made two saves in the final 14 minutes of play to keep the Huskies on top of the Rockets. Carr's first save of the game came after a shot by Rio James in the 8-the minute, that Carr parried past the end line for a Toledo corner kick that the Huskies cleared away less than a minute later. 
The Huskies will return to action Sunday October 28 at Central Michigan for a quarterfinal round match in the Mid-American Conference Tournament. Match time is slated for 11 a.m. Central time.

Eastern Michigan 2, Western Michigan 1

YPSILANTI, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) — The Eastern Michigan University women’s soccer team topped the Western Michigan University Broncos, 2-1, in the final regular-season match of the 2012 campaign Thursday, Oct. 25, at Scicluna Field. The Eagles (11-6-1; 8-3-0 MAC) clinched the third seed in the Mid-American Conference and will host the No. 6-seed and defending tournament champion University of Toledo in the quarterfinal game Sunday, Oct. 28, at 1 p.m.
Eastern Michigan completes the regular season with its best overall win total since 2008, when the squad finished 11-4-5 in pre-tournament play. In MAC contests, EMU posted eight wins for the first time since 2003, when the Green and White went 8-2-2 in conference play. The Eagles fell just one game short of capturing a share of the West Division title, taking second place behind Central Michigan University.
The Broncos (5-8-4; 1-5-4 MAC), who failed to qualify for the MAC Tournament, outshot the Green and White, 21-9, with eight shots on target. But the Eagles made the most of their four shots on goal with two of those finding the back of the net.
Junior Cara Cutaia scored for a second-consecutive contest, netting the game-winning goal in the 11th minute for her seventh of the season. Sophomore Bianca Rossi turned in a three-point afternoon, scoring the first goal (eighth of the season) in the ninth minute and assisting on Cutaia’s tally.
Also earning assists in the contest were junior Stephanie Clarke and sophomore Angela Vultaggio. Clarke’s assist was good for her ninth point of the year, while Vultaggio recorded her 19th.
Freshman goalkeeper Megan McCabe recorded her third straight win after taking over starting duties for a sidelined Jenna O'Dell. McCabe stopped seven-of-eight WMU shots on goal.
Nicole Hatcliffe scored the goal for the Broncos in the 31st minute.
EMU needed just over eight minutes to notch the opening tally. Vultaggio played a pass near midfield back to Clarke, who forwarded the ball to a wide-open Rossi. Rossi broke in on goal alone, made a series of moves on keeper Michelle Watson, and tapped the ball in for a 1-0 edge.
Cutaia made it a 2-0 lead for the Green and White two minutes later with a point-blank shot off a pass from Rossi. During that same play, Rossi’s initial scoring chance was blocked by a Broncos’ defender. The rebound fell back to Rossi, who fed a pass across the goal mouth to find Cutaia for the score.
Western Michigan’s offense turned up the pressure as the half continued, breaking through for its first goal of the afternoon in the 31st minute. Hatcliffe punched home her first of the season off a corner kick. Lindsey Lee and Lacey Zahn assisted on the goal.
McCabe kept the Broncos from knotting the score at two when she made a diving save through a screen in the 32nd minute.
The first half concluded with the Eagles holding on to a 2-1 lead despite the Broncos maintaining a 10-6 edge in total shots through 45 minutes.
In the 64th minute, McCabe came up with a big save near the left goalpost on a shot from Anina Cicerone. On the ensuing corner, McCabe was once again up to the task when Lee headed a shot on goal.
Western had a pair of opportunities to tie the game in the final five minutes of play. Diana Dedvukaj took both shots with the first going wide right in the 86th minute, while the final shot of the game was denied by McCabe.

Kent State 3, Ohio 0
KENT, Ohio – In need of a victory or tie to secure a home game for the 2012 Mid-American Conference Women’s Soccer Championship’s quarterfinal round, the Kent State soccer squad scored in the game’s first two minutes on the way to a 3-0 shutout over Ohio Thursday afternoon at Zoeller Field in the regular season finale for both teams.

With the win, Kent State not only improved to 12-4-2 on the year and finish with a 7-3-1 MAC ledger, but the Golden Flashes will host Ball State in the MAC quarterfinal round Sunday, Oct. 28 at 1 p.m. at Zoeller Field.
Three different players scored for the Golden Flashes while three more registered assists in the shutout victory, Kent State’s eighth clean sheet of the season.
The Golden Flashes got on the board in the second minute when freshman Madison Helterbran (North Canton, Ohio) had a shot deflected that found the feet of junior forward Jessacca Gironda (Akron, Ohio). Gironda then deftly touched the ball to senior midfielder Sara Henderson (Strongsville, Ohio), who one-timed a shot from the right side to beat the Ohio defense.
Kent State added to their lead in the 16th minute when junior Morgan Mah (Edmonton, Alberta) teed up a free kick from 26 yards on the left side. Seemingly off target, Mah’s well-placed shot bent down and under to tuck into the far corner for her second score of the season.
The Golden Flashes added an insurance goal in the 53rd minute when freshman Briana Bartolone (Auburn, Ohio) headed in a cross fromdefender Mariah Sidwell (London, Ontario) from the right side. It was Bartolone’s second goal in MAC play this season.
Defensively, Kent State was staunch and stingy. Ohio was held without a shot until late in the first half and finished with just seven shots and only two shots on goal. Kent State out-fired their foe 21-7, including 10 attempts on frame.
Freshman goalkeeper Stephanie Senn (Grand Island, N.Y.) earned her seventh solo shutout of the year with two saves. 
Despite the setback, Ohio (8-9-1, 3-6-1 MAC) was able to earn the No. 8 seed in the tournament thanks to Akron’s 2-1 overtime win over Buffalo to knock the Bulls out of the postseason.
In the regular season matchup between Kent State and Ball State, the Golden Flashes tallied a 2-0 home victory on Sept. 28; junior Jaclyn Dutton (Bridgeport, Ohio) scored both goals in the contest.
Stories Courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments