Bison Defeat Western Illinois 3-1 for Summit League Title and Automatic NCAA Tournament Berth
Release: November 07, 2010
BROOKINGS, S.D. – North Dakota State defeated Western Illinois, 3-1, to claim The Summit League Women’s Soccer Championship and an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament on Sunday, Nov. 7. It is the first-ever Summit League tournament title for the Bison, who were making their first championship appearance.
Senior Marissa Wolfgram was named tournament MVP and was joined on the All-Tournament team by junior Kalani Bertsch, senior Quin Ryan and junior Abbey Stratton.
“This win really showed our team’s resilience,” said head coach Pete Cuadrado. “They all stepped up after dropping our first two teams in league play. We knew we had the ability to get this far.”
Freshman Katie Tallas notched NDSU’s first shot of the game in the 25th minute, forcing Leathernecks goalie Laura Atkinson to parry it away. Ryan’s shot off the rebound was also saved.
NDSU took a 1-0 lead in the 30th minute after sophomore Holly Christian poked home a shot off a pass from Michelle Gaffaney. It was Christian’s fifth goal of the year.
Bertsch made her only save of the game on a header from Jennika Myers in the 43rd minute. The teams went into the half even on shots with five apiece, but NDSU held a 4-1 edge in shots on goal.
Junior Danielle Boldenow tallied the first chance of the second half, but her shot from just outside the box was saved by Atkinson.
Quin Ryan gave the Bison a 2-0 lead in the 59th minute, unleashing a long shot into the upper right corner past Atkinson’s outstretched fingers. Her goal would hold up as the eventual game-winner.
Wolfgram extended the Bison lead in the 73rd minute as she converted a penalty kick after Boldenow was taken down in the box.
Western Illinois pulled one back in the 82nd minute as Kelly Diershow slotted the ball into the net off an assist from Ali Smyth.
The Bison continued to push for another goal, but Gaffaney’s header with six minutes left was saved and Christian’s rebound was deflected out of bounds for a corner.
NDSU outshot Western Illinois, 6-2, in the second half and 11-7 in the game. The Bison also tallied eight shots on goal to Western’s two.
NDSU will be one of 64 teams in the NCAA tournament field announced Monday, Nov. 8. The selection show will be at 3:30 p.m. Central on ESPNU.
Laura Atkinson, Western Illinois, So., GK
Kalani Bertsch, North Dakota State, Jr., GK
Jenny Green, Western Illinois, Sr., D
Dani Haelewyn, Oakland, Sr., M
Kaitlin Justice, South Dakota State, Sr., M
Sarah Lynch, Oakland, Jr., M
Nora Potempa, Western Illinois, Jr., M
Emily Quigley, South Dakota State, Sr., F
Quin Ryan, North Dakota State, Sr., F
Abbey Stratton, North Dakota State, Jr., D
Marissa Wolfgram, North Dakota State, Sr., D (MVP)