Nov. 6, 2011
ROCHESTER, Mich.-Meghan Reynolds scored the match-winning goal, as the Oakland women's soccer team (10-10-1) won, 2-1, over North Dakota State (15-4-2) to claim The Summit League Women's Soccer Championship on Sunday at the OU Soccer Field. The Golden Grizzlies earn an automatic berth to the NCAA Championship Tournament.
"It's a great win," said Oakland head coach Nick O'Shea. "NDSU was a very difficult team to play against. It was a tough game, they brought everything they had and our players did a great job to come away with a 2-1 victory."
Julianne Boyle gave Oakland the lead in the 40th minute. After being fouled just outside the edge of the penalty area, Boyle stepped up and curled the free kick over the wall and into the top left corner of the goal. It was the first shot of the game for the Golden Grizzlies.
"Julianne Boyle has been practicing those free kicks for two years now," said O'Shea. "It's great that she was able to get one in a spot where she likes to hit them."
Reynolds scored in the 52nd minute to put Oakland ahead 2-0. Reynolds received a through ball from Kyla Kellermann, then beat the defense and slotted the ball inside the right post. It turned out to be the match-winning goal, the second of the tournament for the OU striker who was named Summit League Championship MVP.
"Meghan Reynolds has been scoring a lot lately," added O'Shea. "She has been causing a lot of problems for our opponents all year."
The Bison continued to battle and NDSU's Michelle Gaffaney scored in the 82nd minute to make it a tense finish to the match. Gaffaney headed the ball in from a free kick by Anisha Kinnarath. It was the second goal of the tournament for Gaffaney who earned All-Tournament honors.
Reynolds nearly had her third goal of the tournament in the 78th minute when she intercepted a pass deep in NDSU territory. However, her low shot was saved by Bison goalkeeper Kalani Bertsch. Amy Trandell also had a chance to add to the Oakland lead in the 68th minute, but hit her shot high.
It was a windy day at the OU Soccer Field and a tailwind helped NDSU outshoot Oakland 6-2 in the first half and 11-9 in the match. Holly Christian had a header on goal in the 21st minute which was saved by OU goalkeeper Anne Berschbach. Later in the half, Abbey Moenkedick came close with a header from a free kick that went just outside the right goalpost.
Oakland nearly gifted their opponents the lead in the 20th minute. An Oakland defender deflected an NDSU cross back towards the goal. The clearance attempt was hit directly at Berschbach who reacted quickly to catch the ball.
The Oakland defense held on for the win and Berschbach, who finished with five saves, was named to All-Tournament team along with defender Kara Weber. Boyle also earned a place on the All-Tournament Team. Moenkedick and Danielle Boldenow were also recognized with All-Tournament honors. A complete list of Summit League honorees is available on the Tournament Website.
Oakland will learn its opponent for the NCAA Tournament on Monday when the pairings for the field of 64 are announced on NCAA.com. Fans can follow along with the tournament announcement by clicking the following link.
This is the seventh Summit League Championship for the Oakland women's soccer team (All won under head coach Nick O'Shea)
It was the ninth Championship-match appearance for Oakland in the 13-year history of women's soccer in The Summit League
Oakland remains the only host team to win the league title. Having also won as hosts in 2006 and 2007
This will be Oakland's sixth trip to the NCAA Tournament
The Golden Grizzlies won the right to host by winning the Summit League regular championship in 2010
Oakland becomes the first No. 4-seed to win The Summit League Championship
The No. 2 seed had won The Summit League Championship for each of the past six seasons (No. 2 has won 9 out of 13 titles)
North Dakota State won the 2010 Summit League Championship No team has repeated as Summit League Champions since Oakland did so in 2006-07. OU also won four straight league titles from 2000-2003
Meghan Reynolds is the sixth OU player to be named Championship MVP
Jessica Boyle (sister of Julianne Boyle) is the only player to win two Summit League Championship MVP awards (2006-07)
Oakland is 16-5 all-time in the Summit League Tournament
It was Oakland's 11th Summit League Tournament appearance
Oakland is now unbeaten in its last six matches