CINCINNATI, Ohio - The Mount St. Joseph women's team earned the No. 2 seed in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship tournament, after a 14-2-3, 7-1-1 regular season. They earned a right to host a semi-final match with the Pioneers of Transylvania on Tuesday night. The two teams met just 17 days ago, with the Lions coming out on top with a 3-2 victory.
Despite the Lions win in the previous game, they did not play their best soccer. This game would be a much better showing for The Mount. The Lions created challenges early and often, with Transy keyed in on stopping Kaylan Gruber (Harrison, Ohio/Harrison) she turned into distributer. In the 12th minute The Mount opened the scoring as Gruber raced up the right side and centered the ball to Hannah Schloemer (Lawrenceburg, Ind./East Central), it was the sophomore's 3rd goal of the season.
Just seven minutes later the Lions doubled their lead. This time it was Paige Mersmann (Florence, Ky./Boone County) finding the back of the net, Gruber again delivered the assist. The Mount continued to dominate possession for the rest of the first half. The play in midfield was stellar for The Mount througout the game, as Mersmann teamed with Stephanie Autenrieb (Cincinnati, Ohio/Seton), Madeline Rechel (Harrison, Ohio/Harrison) and Jodie Weimer (Cleves, Ohio/Taylor). The Lions seemed to win every 50/50 ball and held possession through the midfield extremely well.
The Lions came out of the half-time break with a 2-0 lead, but were not comfortable. They continued to press high up the pitch and create chance after chance. The final goal came off the foot of Weimer who knifed through the defense and drilled the ball into the back of the net.
The Lions were also outstanding in the defensive end in the game. Taylor Murphy (Batavia, Ohio/Batavia), Alex Hines (Cincinnati, Ohio/Walnut Hills), and Emily Reichling (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) played in the back for the Lions. Each of them played the entire 90 minutes and thwarted nearly every chance Transy created.
With the win the Lions clinch a spot in the HCAC Championship game on Saturday. Where they will face off again with the No. 14 team in the country the Panthers of Hanover College. The two teams played just a week ago with Hanover coming out on top 2-1 in a double-overtime thriller. This time the game will played at the Hanover Soccer Complex on the campus of Hanover College. The time of the match is still to be determined, check back with MSJsports.com for updates.