UNOH Knocks off #1 Embry-Riddle to Earn Berth in Championship Match
Credit: Michelle White; Michelle White Originals
Credit: Michelle White; Michelle White Originals
Women's Soccer - Fri, Dec. 5, 2014
1
VS
2OT
0
(8)Northwestern Ohio
(1)Embry-Riddle
Final12OT2OTF
Northwestern Ohio (22-1-1)00011
Embry-Riddle (Fla.) (19-2-0)00000
Orange Beach, Ala.
Scoring Summary
PeriodTimePlayer
2OT106:01Laura Stone (Northwestern Ohio)
Northwestern OhioIndv. LeadersEmbry-Riddle (Fla.)
#10 Laura Stone - 1Goals None
#22 Hannah Baines - 1Assists None
5 Players - 1Shots #12 Julia Karlernas - 5
#39 Nadine Stonjek - 3Saves #1 Olivia Lynch - 1
Northwestern OhioTeam StatisticsEmbry-Riddle (Fla.)
5 (2)Shots (on goal) 15 (3)
3Saves 1
11Fouls 8
2Corner Kicks 10
3Offsides 0

ORANGE BEACH, Ala. – The University of Northwestern Ohio women's soccer team was badly outplayed for long stretches of the second half of their NAIA National Tournament Semifinal Matchup with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. The beauty of soccer, though, is it only takes one chance to change everything.

 

Laura Stone netted her second game-winning goal of the season with just 3:59 remaining before the match was scheduled to go to penalty kicks, and #8 UNOH (22-1-1) advanced to their first ever NAIA title match, knocking out the #1 and top-seeded Eagles (19-2), 1-0.

"I thought our defensive effort was superb," said head coach Stuart Gore after the historic victory. "We struggled a bit in the second half, but the defense stayed strong and that gave us an opportunity to earn the victory."

 

The match was a defensive struggle in the first half, with the teams combining for just four shots and only one on goal in a scoreless first frame. UNOH came out and got a good scoring chance early in the second half, but then the Eagles took control. Embry-Riddle took the next nine shots of the match, missing a trio of golden chances – one of which went off the goalpost – and the second half ended with the match still scoreless.

 

The Eagles added four more shots in the first overtime, with Nadine Stonjek standing strong and making two saves in the period. As the match went to the second extra session, the Eagles got another early chance that went begging. It proved to be their last opportunity.

 

With just over four minutes to play in the match, the Racers earned a corner kick from the offensive right wing. Senior Alice Coyne took the corner, sending it to Hannah Baines, who headed it toward the top part of the goal. Eagles' goalkeeper Olivia Lynch made the initial save, but the rebound came down to Stone, who buried it for her fifth game-winner of the year.

 

Stonjek (22-1-1) and the Racers earned their 20th shutout of the season – breaking the NAIA single season record which had stood since Pacific Lutheran (Wash.) notched 19 clean sheets in 1989.

 

"To set a new shutout record in that setting in remarkable," Gore noted. "They kept the pressure on us for most of the day, and we were up for the challenge."

 

The Racers are just the fifth team since the NAIA Tournament expanded to six teams in 1990 to advance to a National Championship Match in their first ever Tournament Appearance, joining Missouri Valley College (1991), Park University (1994), the University of Mobile (1996), and Azuza Pacific University (1998). The Racers are the first to accomplish the feat since the Tournament's expansion from 16 to 24 teams in 2003. Of the four previous first-timers to reach the Final, only APU won a National Title, defeating Simon Fraser (B.C.), 2-1 in the Championship tilt.

 

The Racers will face sixth seeded Lindsey Wilson College (17-3-3) for the National Title on Saturday at 4 p.m. EST.