Nov. 18, 2003
NKU PLAYS UNO IN NATIONAL QUARTERFINALS
Norse (17-2-4) face Mavericks (16-3-2) in NCAA rematch
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - The Northern Kentucky University womens soccer team will meet the University of Nebraska at Omaha at 1 p.m. Saturday in the NCAA Division II national quarterfinals at Omaha, Neb.
NKU enters the national quarterfinals with a 17-2-4 record after posting a 4-3 win over Grand Valley State University in the NCAA II Great Lakes Region championship match. Kendra Zinser tied a career high with three goals to lead the Norse to their fifth consecutive regional championship.
Zinsers third goal - which was assisted off a corner kick by Amy Martini - gave the Norse a 3-1 lead early in the second half. Grand Valley State cut the lead to 3-2 on Shannon Carriers score at the 60:11 mark, but Martini converted a penalty kick five minutes later to extend NKUs advantage to 4-2.
Carrier scored her second goal of the match one minute later to make it 4-3, but the NKU defense toughened up and held off the Lakers to earn its fifth straight trip to the NCAA national quarterfinals.
ABOUT THE NORSE: Zinser, a senior forward and a first team All-Great lakes Valley Conference selection, enters the national quarterfinals with a team-leading 13 goals this season. She also has seven assists for a total of 33 points.
Martini, a sophomore midfielder, has seven goals and a team-leading 11 assists for NKU. Sophomore midfielder Katie Hanck has seven goals and seven assists, while freshman forward Amy Law has eight goals and five assists.
Law earned GLVC Freshman of the Year honors this season.
NKU enters the national quarterfinals with 10 shutouts this season. The Norse defense features first team All-GLVC sweeper Robyn Withers and first team All-GLVC back Becky Schnieders.
HERE THEY GO AGAIN: NKU will face a familiar opponent Saturday in Nebraska-Omaha (16-3-2). The Mavericks - who won the Central Region championship last Sunday with a 3-2 decision over Minnesota State University - eliminated NKU from last years NCAA Tournament with a 1-0 victory over the Norse at Wilder, Ky., in the national quarterfinals.
UNO is led by junior Ashley Grace, who has 15 goals and eight assists. She leads the team in points (38), goals, assists and game-winning goals with six. Senior Stephanie Kirby is second on the team in scoring with 26 points (10 goals, six assists), and freshman Haley Fries follows with 25 points (10 goals, five assists).
HOME-FIELD ADVANTAGE: UNO is 9-0-1 at home this year and has not lost a home game since Oct. 13, 2001. Overall, the Mavericks are 42-3-1 at home and are riding a 25-game unbeaten streak in front of the home crowd.
THE LAST TIME AGAINST UNO: On Nov. 23, 2002, Jessica Dotsons unassisted goal at the 64:01 mark gave Nebraska-Omaha a 1-0 victory over NKU in the NCAA Division II national quarterfinals at the Town & Country Sports Complex in Wilder, Ky.
Amy Price recorded the shutout as UNO earned its first-ever trip to the NCAA Division II Final Four and handed NKU (20-1-2) its only loss of the season. The Norse - ranked No. 1 nationally in the NCAA Division II poll - entered that match seeking their fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA Division II Final Four, but the UNO defense limited NKU to just two shots in the second half.
NKU had several opportunities in the first half, but the Norse were unable to find the net. Kristen Noakes blasted a shot from 15 yards out that hit the crossbar and bounced away early in the opening half, and two other chances - one by Katie Hanck and one by Bessie Black - also were off target.
Dotson snapped the scoreless tie by dribbling through a pair of NKU defenders and blasting a kick from 18 yards out past Norse goalie Sam Westerling into the net.
NKU had one final chance to tie the match with 20 minutes remaining when Price left the UNO goal unguarded, and NKUs Stephanie Sandfoss chipped a 25-yard shot over the goalies head toward the open net. The shot, however, hit the right post and bounced out of bounds, and NKU was unable to threaten again.
The series between NKU and UNO is tied at 1-1. In 2000, NKU posted a 4-0 win against UNO at the Town & Country Sports Complex during the regular season.