MILWAUKEE – Senior Erika Spanbauer pounced on a loose ball rebound in front of the goal to score the game-winner in the 97th minute and send the MSOE women's soccer team to a 1-0 victory over Aurora in the NACC Semifinals Tuesday evening at Viets Field.
The top-seeded Raiders (16-3-1) now advance to the NACC Championship game Saturday, where they will play No. 3 Dominican on Saturday at Viets Field. Kick-off is scheduled for 1 pm.
In a rematch of the 2015 NACC Championship, the deciding goal followed a similar pattern, as senior Sara Travia cut through the defense to get a shot on goal. As was the case last year, the rebound bounced free and a Raider was there to convert the golden goal.
On the decisive scoring play, Travia played a give-and-go through the midfield with senior Caitlin Liddiard, putting her through on goal. She attempted to slot a shot inside the far post, but the AU keeper made the save. Fortunately for the Raiders, Spanbauer was there to crash the goal and net the winner.
Unlike last season's tourney showdown, which featured nine goals, tonight's match was more of a battle of attrition as MSOE continually went at a disciplined defense looking for scoring chances. The Red & White dominated possession and outshot the Spartans 14-1, including 7-1 in shots on goal.
The Raider defense played a key role, limiting the visitors to just one routine shot on goal, pairing with senior keeper Haley Anderson on the shutout, the first of her career.
The assist for Travia gave her 168 career points, making her the program's all-time leading scorer. She had entered the night tied with Jessica Axt.
As for the team, the win was MSOE's seventh-straight win and its school-record 16th of the season, surpassing the 15 wins of last season.