The 2016 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) tournament is behind us and your champions are the Minnesota State Mavericks. The tournament started last Wednesday and saw the Mavs walk away with shutout wins over Northern State, Bemidji state, and Augustana. This marks 15 shutouts for the three-woman rotation of goalkeepers the Mavericks have used throughout the season.
With the tournament now history, the Mavericks are sitting on a 15-3-2 record. The women will return home and await the seeding and opponent for the NCAA Tournament. The tournament will begin on Friday, November 11.
Opening up the NSIC tournament was a match up at The Pitch against Northern State. Both teams’ defenses were at their peak performances, as only a single goal was scored. The entire first half came and went with neither team being able to touch net.
It was not until at the 67-minute mark when someone was able to break through. Minnesota State’s leading scorer sophomore Morgan Cottew drilled one in off an assist from junior Jenny Hoerter. The Mavericks held on to that lead and won, 1-0.
The Mavericks’ red-shirted goalkeeper Alexa Rabune got the start and the win with three saves. Minnesota State had the upper hand in shots on goal, 7-3.
MNSU followed up their great home win by hitting the road to play Bemidji State in Minot, North Dakota. This time, it took just under 44 minutes for the Mavs to get on the board when senior Dana Savino scored one off a free kick to give Minnesota State a 1-0 advantage heading into halftime.
While it took most of the first half to get things rolling, that was not the case as the second half started. Just over six minutes into it, Hoerter put the Mavericks up 2-0 after an assist from Cottew. Seven minutes later, Minnesota State cemented their lead when sophomore Abby Hausken and freshman Taylor Kenealy found freshman Alesha Duccini, who scored the Mavericks’ third goal. The Mavericks maintained the lead the rest of the game, and stamped their ticket to the finals with a 3-0 win.
Freshman goaltender Ryan Rydeen earned the win with one save. Minnesota State dominated in shots on goal, winning that tally 8-1.
With those two victories in the rear view mirror, the Mavs entered Sunday ready to take on Augustana in the finals. The game once again took place in Minot and shadowed the results of the Mavericks’ opening game of the tournament.
Once again, the entire first half was scoreless. Minnesota State was determined to get something going, however, firing off 14 shots while Augustana only had three.
Results were similar in the second half with the exception of the game winner. At 69 minutes after picking up a loose ball, freshman Dakota Wendell secured the victory with her goal. The defensive battle continued but the Mavericks finished atop the NSIC with a 1-0 win.
Rydeen once again achieved the win with one save. The shutout win makes it the sixth of the year for Rydeen. Minnesota State had nine shots on goal to Augustana’s one.
With this being their sixth straight appearance in the Division II NCAA tournament, the Mavericks will be the second seed in the Central Region bracket. Minnesota State will not find out who they play until after Friday’s matchup between No. 3-seeded Fort Hays State (14-4-2) and No. 6-seeded Harding (11-6-2). The Mavs will play the winner of that match on Sunday, November 13 at The Pitch. Play will begin at 1 p.m.