Allegheny Falls to OWU; Clinches No. 2 Seed in NCAC Tournament
DELAWARE, Ohio – Allegheny women's soccer, which has been as dominant as any team in the country over the past month, was dealt a difficult blow on Saturday as Ohio Wesleyan defeated the Gators, 2-0, and claimed the top seed in the 2011 NCAC postseason tournament. The Battling Bishops weathered a wicked assault by the Allegheny attack and made the most of their chances in handing the Gators their first loss in conference play.
Allegheny (10-4-3, 5-1-2 NCAC) hadn't allowed a goal in 784 minutes and had yet to surrender a goal in conference play all season, but that all changed in the 24th minute on Saturday as Makinzie Krebsbach chipped a shot over the head of Allegheny net minder Emily Karr. The goal came just 10 seconds after the Gators had been whistled for a yellow card deep in their own end. Rookie Greta Hilbrands nearly delivered the equalizer in the last minute of the half, but Hannah Zacharias made a strong save to deny the chance.
Allegheny enjoyed a 13-9 edge in shots at the break, but in the second half the Gators attack was smothering. Allegheny peppered Ohio Wesleyan (10-4-4, 5-1-2) with 12 shots and finished the day with a 25-10 advantage. Despite all of the opportunities, the Gators were unable to solve Zacharias or the OWU defense, which blocked six shots.
Ten minutes into the second half, the Battling Bishops doubled their lead as Belle Madison scored her first goal of the season on a free kick from 30 yards out.
Zacharias was credited with 12 saves in a tremendous individual effort, while Karr made three stops – all in the first half. The Gators' shot attempts came from 12 different players, although center back Kira Kliment paced the Blue and Gold with six chances, including three on goal.
Despite the loss, Allegheny secured the No. 2 seed in this week's conference tournament and will host Wooster on Wednesday at 2 p.m. Ohio Wesleyan will host No. 4 seed Kenyon on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Saturday's championship will be played at the highest remaining seed at a time to be determined.