Eagles Fall To Walsh In GLIAC Tournament Quarterfinal

Eagles Fall To Walsh In GLIAC Tournament Quarterfinal


THE TURNING POINT: Walsh freshman Brianna Sanborn scored the game-winning goal during the 88th minute to give the Cavaliers a 2-1 lead over the Eagles.

STAT OF THE GAME: Ashland has made the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament in all four seasons under head coach Danny Krispinsky. This is the first time they've been eliminated in the quarterfinal round in that stretch.

The No. 2-seed Ashland University women's soccer team lost to No. 7-seed Walsh, 2-1, on Tuesday (Nov. 1) afternoon in the first round of the eight-team Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament.

"They're a heck of a seven seed," Ashland head coach Danny Krispinsky said. "They stayed very compact defensively. They're also a very good counter-attacking team." 

The Cavaliers (10-5-4) struck first in the match, scoring a goal on their only shot of the first half on a free kick by freshman forward Olivia Peters from 30 yards out. Peters is fourth in the conference and leads all freshmen with 14 goals this season.

The Eagles (10-3-4) failed to score in the first half despite outshooting Walsh, 7-1. 

AU sophomore forward Deijah Swihart tied the game at 1 during the 63rd minute, scoring her team-high 11th goal of the season on junior forward Kelsey McKernan's team-high sixth assist.

"At halftime," Krispinsky said, "we just reinforced that it's go time. When you're down and trailing, you have to attack. That was our game plan going in, but I think their goal really caused us to play with an urgency that wasn't there in the first half." 

About 25 minutes later, Walsh freshman forward Brianna Sanborn broke the tie, scoring her eighth goal of the season by sneaking one passed the right side of Ashland junior goalkeeper Courtney Barker.

"There's a lot that goes into a goal," Krispinsky said. "It's not just one person or even two people. You have to give their player credit. She pounced on it, and made a play. She had a good finish."

The Cavaliers held on to win the game even though the Eagles outshot them, 15-6. Ashland also had six corner kicks in comparison to Walsh's one, but AU had nine fouls compared to Walsh's three.

"I thought we did a nice job defensively," Krispinsky said. "But they stayed organized and were tough to break down."

Walsh senior goalkeeper Dani Shambaugh made nine saves in the match. Barker made one.

"You have to give her credit," Krispinsky said of Shambaugh. "She made the plays that she had to make."

Just before the match, it was announced that the Eagles received a vote in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll for the first time since Sept. 13.

On Tuesday (Oct. 26), Ashland was ranked No. 4 in the Midwest Region. Six teams from each of the four Division II regions make the NCAA playoffs.

"It's out of our hands now," Krispinsky said. "We just have to wait for results to come in. Hopefully they go our way and Monday night we see our name up on the screen on the NCAA Tournament bracket."

UP NEXT: The third and final regional ranking is released on Wednesday (Nov. 2), and the official selection show is on Monday (Nov. 7) at 6 p.m. on NCAA.com.