FREMONT, Neb. – No. 17 Midland University saw their run in the Great Plains Athletic Conference tournament come to a close on Saturday afternoon with a 1-0 loss to (RV) Concordia University in the semifinal round. The Warriors, who controlled the match throughout, were unlucky once again against the Bulldogs who found a way to edge out a win once again. Concordia will now face top-seeded No. 11-ranked Hastings on Thursday, November 8 in the GPAC Championship match.
Midland will watch that game with special interest as a Bronco win would give award them with the GPAC’s second berth to the NAIA Championship. The Warriors’ record stands at 13-2-3 on the season, having compiled stellar resume that includes a school record shutouts.
The Warriors allowed just two shots on goal to Bulldogs, allowing a rare goal in the 21st minute of play, when Lauren Martin put a ball in the top right corner of the net just out of the reach of Rachel Thigpen.
Midland nearly found the equalizer in the second half in the 64th minute. Harlee Zancanelli sent a ball into the box that was redirected off the head of Bailey Locano, Rachel Smith then took the ball and drilled it to back the net past the Concordia keeper. The goal was disallowed as the side official ruled that Smith was off sides when Locano headed the ball. It was a questionable call that didn’t go the Warriors way.
After that run of events Midland was still able to put pressure on the Bulldogs who brought nearly everyone back into the defensive third of the field. The Warriors put up five more shots, a pair on goal, over the last 26 minutes.
“I felt like we controlled the game early and had our chances,” commented head coach Greg Jarosik. “Once they got their goal in the first half it made things a bit more challenging for use offensively. We had the goal by Rachel (Smith) that was negated to an off sides, but also had other chances. Now all we can do is sit back and hope that the work we’ve put in the past year is enough to get us a bid to the national tournament.”
Midland (13-2-3) can earn a bit one of two ways to the NAIA Women’s Soccer National Championship. If Hastings can defeat Concordia on Thursday, the Warriors would earn the second bid from the GPAC for their body of work during the regular season, finishing as the runner-up. They could also make a trip to the NAIA postseason with an at-large bid. Opening round matchups and seeding for the tournament are announced Monday, November 12 at 11:00 a.m.