FREMONT, Neb. – This weekend No. 20-ranked Midland University took on Briar Cliff University and came away with a 1-0 victory thanks to a late game-determining goal by the Lady Warriors. With the win the Warriors move to 11-1-2 overall, and 8-0-2 in Great Plains Athletic Conference play and is tied for first in conference standings alongside Hastings and Concordia. The Chargers fall to 8-7-1 overall, and 7-3 in GPAC play this season.
With the Warriors down a few key players, changes in the lineup created even matchups and play across the first half. The Warriors had a few opportunities to find the back of the net, but were unable to connect on any of the attempts. At the intermission, the Lady Warriors and Chargers were in a scoreless battle.
The second half of play looked better for the Lady Warriors as they peppered the Chargers goalie with shots. The Warriors found some rhythm with the new players on the field although it felt as though the game was going to go into extras with the Chargers keeping the Warriors off the scoreboard.
That all changed in the 76th minute when Brittany Llanes crossed in a curling corner that found the head of freshman Bailey Locano, putting the Lady Warriors on the board 1-0. It was Locano’s second goal on the season, and it came at the right time for Midland to edge ahead of Briar Cliff in the race for three crucial conference points.
The Warriors defense was stout over the final 13-plus minutes and once again held a GPAC foe without a goal in the match. They have now had a clean sheet in nine out of ten GPAC games. Rachel Thigpen was a wall in the goal, garnering four saves on the night as well as controlling the back line, she has been a sure handed safety net for the Lady Warriors all season.
“The girls found a way to win an important game down the stretch with some key players not able to play tonight,” head coach Greg Jarosik said after the victory. “We had several girls who contributed big minutes for us tonight that haven’t been asked to do so in some time. The coaching staff was very happy to see them step when they were called upon.”
“We now find ourselves in a tie for first place coming into the last week with everything to play for, and the girls are excited for our next opponent on Wednesday.”
Midland (11-1-2, 8-0-2 GPAC) will stay at home for the remaining two games of their season. The first task at hand is strong (RV) Concordia side (11-1-4, 8-0-2 GPAC). The game on Wednesday, October 24 will go a long ways to deciding the GPAC standings. Kickoff is set for 5:00 p.m. at Heedum Field in Fremont.