MSU captures NSIC title, No. 2 seed in Central Region

The Maverick soccer team (17-2-2) will look to continue their fairytale season this Friday

The Maverick Women’s soccer team is looking hot after defeating the Augustana Vikings 2-0 on Sunday afternoon at The Pitch to capture its sixth Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Tournament, and their first NSIC Tournament Title since 2015.

With the win, the Mavericks earned an automatic bid into the 2017 NCAA DII Women’s Soccer Tournament.

Minnesota State (17-2-2) went on a tear in the opening half, jumping on the scoreboard quickly against Augustana (14-3-4) in the first half of the NSIC Tournament Championship match. After a corner kick, Lauren Kizlik, then passed the ball to sophomore forward Alesha Duccini, who kicked the ball with authority past Augustana’s goalkeeper Taylor Machacek (13-3-4) in the 10th minute of play to put Minnesota State up 1-0. Duccini’s timely goal was her third goal on the year.

After halftime, Junior forward Morgan Cottew doubled the Mavericks’ lead after pushing the ball to the net, and eventually drilling her fifth goal of the season in the 50th minute of the game. Kizlik on the play received her second assist of the afternoon and senior midfielder Jenny Hoerter was given the second assist on the play.

Junior goalkeeper Taylor Livermore (10-1-1) had another fantastic day at net for the Mavericks, as she recorded her tenth shutout of 2017 for the Mavericks, which ties her with Nicole Johnson (2007) for the fifth-most shutouts in a season in program history. On the other end of the field, Machacek stopped 13 shots in net for the Vikings. Her effort was solid, but the Mavericks were just too much to handle for the talented goalkeeper.

Not only was the Maverick offense on fire on the day, but the defense was also dominant, holding the Vikings to three shot attempts and no shots on goal for the day. Minnesota State recorded its 16th shutout of the season, which is one shy of the single-season program record of 17, which was achieved in 2014 by the team. The Mavericks have been dominant all year pushing the ball to the net, as they outshot their opponents 29-3 on the day, including a 15-0 advantage in shots on goal.

Six talented Mavericks were named to the 2017 NSIC Soccer All-Tournament Team, which is a list of athletes who played the best at their respected positions throughout the NSIC Tournament.

They are: Livermore, Duccini, Cottew, junior defender Abby Hausken, freshman forward Molly Sarafolean, and senior midfielder Lexi Pszanka. In addition, Duccini was named the NSIC Tournament MVP after her dominant performance throughout the tournament.

The Mavericks, who will be making their 12th NCAA D-II Tournament appearance, are now in the driver’s seat to make a big run for the NCAA title, after making their seventh-consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament, dating back to 2011. The NCAA selection show revealed the Mavericks will have the No. 2 seed and a bye in the Central Region bracket. The No. 1 seed went to Central Missouri (21-0-0). Minnesota State will play either No. 3 Missouri Western (17-4-0) or Southwestern Oklahoma (12-3-4) on Friday, Nov. 10.

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