Big second half lifts Tommies to first-ever MIAC Women's Soccer Playoff Championship

St. Thomas won its first-ever MIAC Women's Soccer Playoff Championship on Saturday.
St. Thomas won its first-ever MIAC Women's Soccer Playoff Championship on Saturday.

ST. PAUL, Minn. – For the first time in program history, the University of St. Thomas is headed to the 2018 NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament as both regular season and playoff champions of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) after defeating Augsburg University by a score of 3-1 at South Field in St. Paul on Saturday.

| Box Score |

St. Thomas recovered from a 1-0 halftime deficit to score three goals in the second half and punch its ticket back to the national tournament for the third straight season.

HOW IT HAPPENED
-Augsburg forward Ashley St. Aubin scored the first goal of the game just past the 22-minute mark to give the Auggies an early advantage. Augsburg's all-time scoring leader is tops in the MIAC this season with 21 goals overall.
-Kristen Epperly took a McKenna Peplinski pass and turned it into the Tommies' first goal of the day at 64:37 in the game - the first of three second-half goals for the Toms.
-Ellie Eskierka was credited with the game-winner at the 81-minute mark. Mary Ennis and Kaley Roberts assisted on the play. Mallory DeBoom celebrated her birthday with an insurance goal - assisted by Eskierka - near the 87-minute mark to put the game out of reach.

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
-The win was St. Thomas' 18th of the year, setting a new program-high for victories in a single season.
-Augsburg's Ashley St. Aubin extended her single-season program record for goals to 21 with her first-half score on Saturday.
-A different MIAC team has now won the Playoff Championship each of the last four years (Gustavus in 2015; Augsburg in 2016; St. Catherine in 2017; St. Thomas in 2018).

UP NEXT
-St. Thomas received the MIAC Playoff championship plaque and the Conference's automatic bid to the 2018 NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament. Augsburg and the rest of the MIAC 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 during its annual selection show on NCAA.com Monday, Nov. 5 at 12:30 p.m. CST.


2018 MIAC WOMEN'S SOCCER PLAYOFF SCHEDULE

Quarterfinals | Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018 | 2:00 p.m. |
No. 3 Augsburg 2, No. 6 St. Olaf 0 | Box Score |
No. 4 St. Catherine 1, No. 5 Saint Benedict 0 | Box Score |

Semifinals | Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018 | 2:00 p.m. |
No. 1 St. Thomas 2, No. 4 St. Catherine 0 | Box Score |
No. 3 Augsburg 4, No. 2 Bethel 2 | Box Score |

Championship | Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018 | 1:00 p.m. |
No. 1 St. Thomas 3, No. 3 Augsburg 1 | Box Score |


2018 MIAC Women's Soccer Playoffs |