Location: Schueler Field (Cincinnati, OH)
Mount St. Joseph came into this postseason matchup looking to take advantage of playing at home. The match started off as a defensive battle, as both teams fought back and forth. The first half would end with no score and only 7 shots between both teams. The Lions started the second half with a burst of energy. They were able to score 2 goals in the first 10 minutes of the half to take a lead over the Panthers. The Mount would go on to defeat Hanover with a final score of 2-0.
How It Happened:
The match started with a defensive stand from both teams. The Lions were only able to get four shots in the first half compared to the Panthers' three. Both teams were aggressive and able to keep each other away from the net. The first half ended with both teams tied 0-0. The Lions regrouped and came out in the second half determined. They were explosive in the first 10 minutes and were able to put up two goals. Kaylan Gruber (Harrison, OH/ Harrison) broke free with the ball and used her speed to split two defenders to get to the net. This gave the Lions a 1-0 lead in the 49th minute. The second goal came from Ariel Huber (New Richmond, OH/ New Richmond). She was able to put up a shot that sailed over the goalie to push the Lions ahead 2-0 in the 52nd minute. After the two goals, the Mount was able to keep the ball on its side of the field. The defensive integrity by the Mount started to take over the game. Hanover was only able to record one shot in the second half compared to the Lions' 10. Mount St. Joseph would hold the lead and ultimately defeat Hanover with a final score of 2-0 to advance to the HCAC championship game.
Kaylan Gruber had an outstanding performance. Coming out of halftime, she was able to score the first goal of the match to put her team in the lead. This gave the Lions the momentum they needed to take over the match. Defensively, Taylor Murphy (Batavia, OH/ Batavia) showed up big for the Lions. She played very aggressive to keep the ball in the Mount's possession with incredible defensive pressure. The Lions' defense lived up to its reputation as the Mount was able to complete its ninth shutout of the season.
The Lions (17-3, 7-2) will travel to Franklin College to face the Grizzlies (13-4, 8-1) in the HCAC championship game on Saturday, 11/4. Come out to support your Lions at 7:00 PM, on their chase for the HCAC title.