The Free Press, Mankato, MN

October 31, 2012

MSU opens women's soccer tourney with shutout (w/photo gallery)

By Jim Rueda
Free Press Sports Editor

MANKATO — The formula has been consistent throughout the season: attack the ball on offense, play aggressive defense, rely on stingy goalkeeping.

The Minnesota State women's soccer team excelled in all three facets again on Halloween day, recording a 5-0 shutout over Minnesota Duluth at The Pitch. The win came in the quarterfinals of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference tournament, improving  the Mavericks record

to 16-1-2.

“I think from the start we knew what we wanted to get done this season,” senior defender Lauren Somers said. “We wanted to play at a high level, and we’ve been pretty consistent.

“We’ve only given up seven goals in 19 games, and I think there was only one game where we allowed more than goal. It’s been a solid team effort all season.”

MSU coach Peter McGahey agreed: “Of course you want to improve during the season, and we’ve done that, but the players wanted to start strong this year. We returned a lot of players who know what it takes to play at this level, and they’ve embraced everything we’re trying to do.”

Senior forward Nicole Dooher scored the game-winning goal at the 17:30 mark. She headed a corner kick from senior midfielder Cassie Weik past UMD keeper Marissa Rosa  for a 1-0 lead.

Dooher then set up the second goal, sending a pass to junior midfielder Tori Meinhardt, who turned it into a score in the 21st minute. Before the half expired, the Mavericks went up 3-0 as sophomore mid Emily Moris took a pass from senior Brianne West and buried it into the back of the net.

Freshman Korey Kronforst took over the scoring in the second half. The first-year forward put in a rebound at the 46:56 mark and then found the net off a cross from sophomore Breanna Steele at 81:48. MSU ended up outshooting the Bulldogs 10-6.

It may be Kronforst’s first season with the Mavericks, but she’s not surprised at the team’s success.

“There were a lot of players here already who have been working toward this,” she said. “I’m just glad I could come in and help out. We have fun, but it was a pretty no-nonsense attitude from the first day of practice.”

McGahey believes the 5-0 win not only sends a message to the other teams in the tournament but also sets the tone for his squad.

“It’s sort of like `well, they did it during the regular season, and now theyrre doing it in the tournament, too.’ It was a nice performance by our players; it was a spooktacular effort.”