SIOUX CENTER, Iowa – No. 14 Midland University clinched the Great Plains Athletic Conference regular season title after a 5-0 win over Dordt University on Saturday afternoon. The win moves Midland to 14-2-1 overall with an 11-1 mark in GPAC action while Dordt falls to 10-7-1 on the year and 7-4-1 in the GPAC.
The Warriors extended the winning streak to 11 games and have not allowed a goal in 720 minutes of action. The Warriors have outshot the opposition 162-28 during the stretch of shutouts, and junior goalkeeper Rachel Thigpen ranks fourth in NAIA in goals against per game (.38).
“The ladies put together another dominant performance when it mattered,” commented head coach Greg Jarosik. “These ladies have risen to the occasion every time since an early season wakeup call. Winning the regular season title is a difficult thing to do, as you must stand the test of time. They definitely deserve to be the GPAC Champions.”
Midland opened the game with a shot from Brittany Llanes going just wide, but the Warriors wouldn’t stay off the board for long as Bailey Locano registered her fifth goal of the year in the seventh minute. Elena ‘PT’ Perez would get in on the action just minutes later as 11th goal of the year doubled the lead in the 11th minute. Dordt sent their first shot toward the net in the 24th minute, but Thigpen was there for the save. Both teams held steady defense for the remainder of the first half as the score would stand at 2-0 heading into the break.
“Once again our backline was excellent, limiting chances,” Coach Jarosik added. “The two early goals got us started and carried us through the day.”
The second half opened with the Warriors sending two shots just high, and a shot from Nayeli Rodriguez being saved by the Dordt goalie. Midland continued to pressure the defense by sending shot after shot toward the net before a ball off the foot of Jericha Fox found the back of the net in the 75th minute. The goal stands as Fox’s fifth of the year. Rodriguez would not be denied again as her final two shots on goal found their way past the keeper to bring the final score to 5-0. The goals came in the 79th and 83rd minute with assists from Fox and Hannah Stewart. Rodriguez now has 16 goals on the year which leads the GPAC.
Midland (14-2-1, 11-1 GPAC) will be the number one seed in the GPAC Postseason Tournament which begins on Thursday, November 7. The Warriors will face the No. 8 seed with kickoff set for 1:00 p.m. at Heedum Field in Fremont, Nebraska.