Women's Soccer Storms Past Marian into NACC Semifinals

Women's Soccer Storms Past Marian into NACC Semifinals

UPDATE: MSOE forfeited the match due to use of an ineligible student-athlete

MILWAUKEE – Freshman Veronica Mangio scored the equalizer and set up the game-winner to lead the MSOE women's soccer team to a 2-1 comeback victory over Marian in the first round of the NACC Tournament Saturday afternoon at Viets Field.

Like the regular season meeting, the Raiders (12-9) fell behind 1-0 in the first half, only to storm past the Sabres (8-10-1) with a dominating second-half performance. The victory sets MSOE up for a semifinal showdown at Illinois Tech on Wednesday.

Mangio got the Red & White on the board eight-plus minutes after halftime to even the game at 1-1. Sophomore Gracie Horton sent a cross from the far side to the near post area. Mangio collected the pass before turning and slotting past the keeper from point-blank range.

The goal revitalized the Raider attack but the go-ahead score would have to wait.

Freshman Jill Ruark was eventually the hero, finishing off a loose ball in the penalty area in the 81st minute. A scrum ensued after a corner kick, with Mangio finally settling the ball to Ruark, who knocked the ball far post from inside the six yard box.

The Raiders then held on to advance to the league semifinals. MSOE outshot Marian 16-3 in the second half, forcing the Sabre keeper into nine saves in the frame.

The visitors were not without their opportunities but junior Allison Lessila made a finger-tip save late in regulation to direct a shot ever-so-slightly past the post to keep the game level. It was the only save Lessila needed to close out the win, as she played the second half in goal. Junior Abbie Lorenz played the opening half and stopped four shots on target.

The Red & White finished with a decisive 26-11 shot advantage, including 14-6 in shots on goal. MSOE's attack also forced a season-high 11 corner kicks, compared to just two for MU.

In the regular season, the Raiders overcame a 1-0 deficit at halftime with four second-half goals in a 4-1 victory.