HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Michigan Tech soccer team saw the 2018 season come to a close Tuesday afternoon in the GLIAC Quarterfinals, falling to Ashland University 1-0 at Sherman Field. The match was characterized by tough defense from both the Huskies and Eagles, resulting in limited scoring chances for both sides.
"Neither team took a lot of shots which was the outcome of a big defensive effort from both teams," Michigan Tech Head Coach Michelle Jacob said. "As coaches, I think we would both walk away saying those weren't our best performances, but they were able to put one in off a corner kick and then it was just a battle in the middle of the field all game long.
"We've seen a lot of improvement from last year to this year and even from the start of the season this year to where we are now. I said to the players it's disappointing to have our season over, but we had to do a lot of work to get ourselves here and that is something to be proud of. It really opens up doors for the future of the program and we are also so thankful for what our seniors have done for us. Between Marisa, Andrea, and Rachel, they mean the world to us and they left it all on the field. Just wish we could have walked away with a win for them today."
Michigan Tech (10-6-1) had a couple looks at the net early in the first half with sophomore Brooke Schauer sending the ball over the crossbar in the second minute followed by a wide strike in the 11th minute. A few minutes later, Ashland (10-3-5) posted its first shot on goal of the match when Hannah Simard challenged Tech sophomore goalie Amanda Young. Young kept the ball away from the goal line to keep the score at 0-0.
Not much happened offensively for either team for the remainder of the opening period. Faith Lewis fired a kick high of the bar in the 44th minute and with less than 30 seconds left on the clock, Young made her second save of the afternoon on a strike by Brianna Fourman.
Unfortunately, the Eagles would notch the only goal of the contest in the beginning stages of the second half. Ashland's attack created a corner kick in the 48th minute as Tori Baker lofted the ball into the box from the left corner. Makenzie Kelly placed a header shot into the corner of the net to give the Eagles a 1-0 edge and then their defense would make it hold up the rest of the way.
The Huskies kept battling though to try and find the equalizer, coming close on four shot on goal attempts in the second half. The first occurred in the 67th minute on a strike by senior Rachel Wall that was turned away by goalie Abby Lampe. Senior Marisa DeMario forced another Lampe save in the 69th minute and freshman Gabby Sgambati had a blast deflected in the box by Lampe in the 87th minute.
In the final seconds, the Huskies put together one final charge to make a bid to force overtime. DeMario just missed sliding the ball past Lampe on a strike in the middle of the box. Lampe had come out to challenge and was able to retain possession as time expired.
DeMario and Schauer shared the team lead in shots with two apiece Tuesday afternoon. Sgambati, Wall, and sophomore Kassity Swanson each had one attempt against the Eagles defense. Tech had a slight edge in total shots at 8-6 and in corner kicks at 3-2. Young made two saves for Tech in 90 minutes of work in front of the net.
Six different players took shots for Ashland, with Kelly landing the only one on target. Baker had one of the attempts and was credited with the assist on the score by Kelly. Lampe collected four saves and played all 90 minutes for Ashland in goal.
The Huskies wrapped up the season with an overall record of 10-6-1 and finished fourth in the GLIAC standings thanks to a conference mark of 5-4. Tech has now qualified for the post season for seven straight years and recorded double digit win totals for the fifth time in the nine-year history of the program. The Huskies will enter the offseason with a lot to build on in anticipation of the 2019 campaign next fall.