ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Augsburg women's soccer team did something no other Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) team had done thus far in 2016 – the Auggies defeated regular-season champion St. Thomas.
And the stakes couldn't have been higher. Augsburg's 1-0 win Saturday in St. Paul, Minn., gave the program its second MIAC Women's Soccer Playoff championship and NCAA Tournament bid in three seasons. Saturday's win was the Auggies third Playoff win in five days, and second road upset as they also took down No. 2 Bethel on its home field in the semifinals.
| BOX SCORE | PHOTOS (For sale) | 2016 MIAC Women's Soccer Playoffs |
The top-seeded Tommies entered the game unbeaten against conference foes after going 10-0-1 in the regular season to win the title and earn home-field advantage in the Playoffs, and they added a 2-0 win over St. Kate's in Wednesday's semifinals to remain unbeaten against MIAC teams. But the upset-minded Auggies ended that impressive streak Saturday with a hard-fought performance and one big, early goal.
Just 15 minutes into the game the road team got the only goal it needed from Marta Anderson. A loose ball bounced her direction and she gathered it outside the box and unleashed a shot to the top left corner of the net that barely cleared the outstretched hand of St. Thomas goalkeeper Tarynn Theilig to put Augsburg up 1-0 early in the game and announce its upset intentions.
The Tommies certainly put in a valiant effort to get the equalizer but came up a few inches from tying the game on several occasions. Particularly in the second half, UST held a 5-1 edge on shots and had two shots on goal to none for Augsburg. The Tommies' best chance came with 7:32 to play when Hailey Zweber sent a free kick over everyone that appeared headed for the net, but it caught the crossbar and deflected back out of play to keep UST off the board. The Auggies held strong the rest of the way and celebrated their second MIAC Playoff title in three years.
|Augsburg celebrates its Playoff title. (Photo by Matt Higgins, MIAC)|
Augsburg goalie Marissa Guillou was outstanding in the shutout win, making six saves to earn the win. Theilig made two saves and allowed the one goal in the Tommie goal. Taylor Skorik led the UST offense with three shots, two on goal, and six different players took the Auggies' six shots. St. Thomas had more shots (9-5) and shots on goal (6-3) while Augsburg had one more corner kick (2-1) and committed more fouls (11-6).
The Auggies received the MIAC Playoff championship plaque and the conference's automatic bid to the 2016 NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament. St. Thomas and the MIAC's other top teams will eagerly await "Selection Monday" to see if the league sends any additional teams to the tournament via at-large bids. The NCAA will announce the national tournament field with a live selection show on NCAA.com Monday at 12:30 p.m.
The MIAC has a home page dedicated to the 2016 MIAC Women's Soccer Playoffs, containing scores, stats news, photos and more from an outstanding postseason tournament. Fans can continue to share their experiences from the MIAC Women's Soccer Playoffs on social media through the MIAC's Facebook, Instagram or Twitter accounts, using the hashtag #MIACWSOC.
2016 MIAC WOMEN'S SOCCER PLAYOFFS
Quarterfinals | Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016 | 2 p.m. |
No. 3 Augsburg def. No. 6 Hamline, 2-0 | Box Score | Recap |
No. 4 St. Catherine def. No. 5 Gustavus, 1-1 (Shootout 3-1) | Box Score | Recap |
Semifinals | Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016 | 2 p.m. |
No. 1 St. Thomas def. No. 4 St. Catherine, 2-0 | Box Score | Recap |
No. 3 Augsburg def. No. 2 Bethel, 2-0 | Box Score | Recap |
Championship | Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016 | 1:30 p.m. |
No. 3 Augsburg def. No. 1 St. Thomas, 1-0 | Box Score | Photos |
*Augsburg receives automatic bid to NCAA Tournament