Horizon League Women's Soccer Championship: No. 3 Northern Kentucky 3, No. 1 Milwaukee 2
Northern Kentucky 3, Milwaukee 2
MILWAUKEE, Wis. — The third-seeded Northern Kentucky University women's soccer team won its first Horizon League title after defeating No. 1 Milwaukee, 3-2, Saturday at Engelmann Stadium. After joining the conference in 2015, the Norse now earns the League's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament with the victory. Freshman Shawna Zaken netted home the final goal of the contest in the 88th minute, giving the Norse their first lead of the game.
After back-to-back consecutive wins facing a 2-0 deficit, Northern Kentucky improves to 13-6-1, while the Milwaukee wraps up their season at 13-5-2. The No. 3 seeded Northern Kentucky University women's soccer team will now participate in their first NCAA Tournament after just receiving Division I status this past August.
The first goal of the match came from Milwaukee’s McKaela, Schmelzer, off of a Callie O’Donnell corner kick in the 12th minute of the first half. Just within five minutes later, teammate Anna Smalley gave the Panthers a 2-0 lead off another assist from senior O’Donnell, giving the Panthers a comfortable lead for the majority of the first half.
With less than three minutes remaining in the opening 45, Northern Kentucky junior Macy Hamblin scored the Norse first goal on an assist from Jessica Frey, cutting the lead to 2-1 at the half.
Frey tied up the match at 2-2 in the 66th minute with a goal of her own off a free kick from Sami Rutowski and an assist from Payton Naylor. With just two minutes to play in regulation Zaken netted the game winning goal on a cross from Ally Perkins to put the Panthers away.
Norse goalkeeper Emily Lohmann finished the game with eight saves, while Milwaukee goalkeeper Mallory Geurts registered five saves.
Frey was named MVP of the tournament and was joined on the All-Tournament team by teammates Hamblin, Zaken and senior midfielder Katelyn Newton.
Schmelzer, Smalley, and senior Callie O’Donnell represented Milwaukee on the team. This concludes the 2016 season for the Panthers after earning back-to-back regular season titles.
Northern Kentucky Norse now await their NCAA opponent which will be revealed on Monday, November 7, when the selection show airs on NCAA.com at 4:30 p.m. ET
Aly Rawson, Oakland
Alice Palmer, Oakland
Anna Mindling, Detroit Mercy
Kristen Tobin, Detroit Mercy
Callie O’Donnell, Milwaukee
Anna Smalley, Milwaukee
McKaela Schmelzer, Milwaukee
Macy Hamblin, Northern Kentucky
Shawna Zaken, Northern Kentucky
Katelyn Newton, Northern Kentucky
MVP, Jessica Frey, Northern Kentucky