ASHLAND, Ohio – In its most important weekend in years, the AU women's soccer team earned its two most important victories to clinch a spot in the GLIAC Tournament. It will be Ashland's first-ever trip to the 4-year-old tournament.
Following their 2-1 double-overtime win at Tiffin on Friday (Oct. 28), the Eagles traveled to Findlay and earned a 2-0 win over their GLIAC South rival on Sunday (Oct. 30) in their regular season finale.
The Eagles finished third overall in the GLIAC and will host a GLIAC Tournament quarterfinal game on Tuesday (Nov. 1) against Ferris State.
The Eagles opened the scoring in the 16th minute when freshman Kathleen Demaree (Canal Fulton, Ohio/Northwest) got her foot on a bouncing ball in the box and finished from a short distance. It was her fourth goal of the season and ties her for the team high.
That goal was all the Eagles (8-7-3, 7-4-3 GLIAC) would need as sophomore goalkeeper Rebecca Plescia (Parma, Ohio/Padua) was excellent, making seven saves. The Oilers (7-9-1, 6-7-1 GLIAC) out-shot the Eagles in the game, 13-6.
Just four minutes after halftime, freshman Lexi Gruich (Akron, Ohio/Copley) headed the ball past UF goalkeeper Alicia Tutino to give the Eagles a commanding 2-0 lead. The assist went to senior Chelsea Hyatt (Grove City, Ohio), who sent in a long cross to Gruich. It was Hyatt's first assist of the season and the second goal for Gruich.
Plescia made five her seven saves after the second goal to preserve the win.
AU's seven conference wins are the most since the 2004 season when the Eagles won their last GLIAC title with an 8-0 record. The Eagles also have a shot at becoming the first AU team to finish above .500 overall since the 2005 season when the Eagles were 12-4-1.
The Eagles will host Ferris State on Tuesday (Nov. 1). Grand Valley State earned the tournament's top seed and will host the semifinals and final on Friday (Nov. 4) and Sunday (Nov. 6).
For further information in the coming days, log onto www.GoAshlandEagles.com and follow the Eagles on Twitter (@goashlandeagles) and Facebook (Ashland University Athletics).