Oct. 28, 2010
CEDAR CITY, Utah - Senior Dani Haelewyn had a goal and an assist to lead the Oakland University women's soccer team (11-5-2, 7-0-1) to a 3-1 victory over Southern Utah (5-9-1, 2-6) on Thursday night at Thunderbird Soccer Stadium to claim the outright Summit League regular-season title. The Golden Grizzlies remain unbeaten in league play with the win and also clinch the No. 1 seed at The Summit League Tournament.
"It's a great feeling to clinch the No. 1 seed," said Oakland head coach Nick O'Shea. "We were playing against a tough team and also had to contend with altitude and a long travel day. I am pleased with our players who scored a couple of nice goals to put the match out of reach."
After a Southern Utah goal erased the Golden Grizzlies' early lead, the team responded almost immediately, by scoring twice in less than five minutes following the goal. Freshman Jordan Penz scored the match-winner in the 33rd minute, when she was quickest to react to a free kick by Haelewyn that was not cleared well by the Southern Utah defense.
Haelewyn had a hand in all three of OU's goals and finished off the evening with a goal of her own in the 36th minute to give OU a two-goal lead. Freshman Julianne Boyle initiated the play with a penetrating run that drew in the Southern Utah defense. As the defender converged around her, Boyle slotted the ball over to an open Haelewyn at the top of the 18-yard area and she struck a hard finish to the bottom right corner. It was the sixth tally of the season for Haelewyn, who has 19 points this season, the second most in The Summit League.
Junior Jessica Conrad gave Oakland a lead in the 13th minute, when she knocked in a corner kick from Haelewyn. It was the first goal of her career for Conrad, as the team's two captains combined for the goal. However, the Thunderbirds tied the match in the 32nd minute on a goal from Missy Lazcano on an assist from Stacey Brinkman.
After the team's combined to score four goals in the first half, Oakland settled for protecting the lead after the break. Despite being outshot 10-4 in the second half and 12-9 in the match, Oakland made sure that the majority of the Thunderbirds' efforts were from long-range. In terms of quality chances, OU had the advantage, earning a 7-3 edge in shots on goal.
Freshman goalkeeper Payj O'Shea made two saves and improves to 4-0 as a starter this season. Southern Utah `keeper Charly Booth finished the match with four saves.
The Golden Grizzlies will finish out the regular season on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. against UMKC. With a win, the Golden Grizzlies would earn the highest point total of any women's soccer team in Summit League history. For fans that are unable to attend the match, live stats and video will be available on OUGrizzlies.com.