JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Northern Kentucky advanced to its first Atlantic Sun Women's Soccer Championship Semifinal courtesy of a 2-0 victory today. Aubrey Muench and Jessica Frey scored the goals for the Norse.
In the fourth minute, Aubrey Muench gave the Norse the perfect start on the road at Hodges Stadium. A cross came into the box and was deflected right into Muench's path. From the top of the box she buried a shot low and into the corner to leave Megan Dorsey no chance. The Norse continued to put the pressure on throughout the first half as both teams battled heavy winds in Jacksonville today.
After halftime, North Florida came out the more aggressive team, but was caught off guard on a counter attack by the Norse. Muench got away from her defender down the left side and drove into the box. Her shot was initially saved by Dorsey, but the ball squirted away from Dorsey and Frey was in the box to pounce on the opportunity. She slid in to push the ball over the goal line for the Norse second goal of the day. It is Frey's fifth goal of the season as Muench collected her third point of the match.
The Ospreys tried to mount a comeback after falling behind, but were unable to trouble Norse goalie Brooke Shocker. Shocker made one save to secure the shutout victory. With the win the Norse advance to the A-Sun Championship Semifinals in their first year of championship eligibility. They will travel down to Fort Myers, Fla. to take on the regular season champions and No. 1 seed FGCU Eagles.
The semifinals are now set as Northern Kentucky faces FGCU, while in the other semifinal it will be Kennesaw State taking on Lipscomb. Both matches will be played at the FGCU Soccer Complex in Fort Myers, Fla.
Match Minute Report
4' - GOAL: Aubrey Muench (5). ASSIST: None. NKU 1; UNF 0
- Muench scored with a low shot from the top of the box to give Norse the early lead. The ball bounced in the box and found Muench. It's her fifth goal of the season.
1' to 15' - After the early goal, NKU kept the pressure on North Florida with two shots. One shot was blocked by the Osprey defense, the other resulted in a corner for the Norse. North Florida played most of the opening 15 minutes in their own half.
16' to 30' - NKU kept the pressure on the Osprey defense during the middle portion of the opening half. NKU won three corners, but was unable to capitalize on them. The Osprey defense doing a good job closing down the passing lanes in the attacking third. Kelsey Laumann subbed in for the Norse, while Kayla Aritt checked in for the Ospreys. The wind really picked up and affected both sides ability to connect offensively.
31' to 45' - UNF keeper Megan Dorsey, a second team All-Conference selection, made two critical stops for the Osprey. On a free kick, the Norse played Laumann in on goal, but Dorsey cut the angle and made a double-save to deny Laumann and keep the match at 1-0. In the final five minutes of the half, the Ospreys launched an attack late, but couldn't find a shot on target.
HALFTIME BREAKDOWN - Northern Kentucky 1, North Florida 0
Corner Kicks: UNF 1, NKU 3; Fouls: UNF 5, NKU 8; Offside: UNF 0, NKU 2; Shots: UNF 1, NKU 6; Shots on Goal: UNF 0, NKU 3; Saves: UNF 2, NKU 0
52' - GOAL: Jessica Frey (5). ASSIST: Aubrey Muench. NKU 2; UNF 0
- Frey nets her fifth goal of the season as she collected a loose ball near the goal line for the score. Muench had raced into the box and looked to shoot, but keeper Megan Dorsey stopped the shot but couldn't hang on as Frey slid it into the goal to give NKU a 2-0 advantage.
46' to 60' - UNF's Jennifer Marzi attempted a long range effort, but couldn't hit the target as the Ospreys look to cut into the Norse lead. Both sides continue to play aggressive as the foul count rises during the match. North Florida had two corners during this period, but couldn't connect on the crosses. Lanie Keating tried to used the wind from 40 yards out, as her shot went just over the crossbar.
61' to 75' - NKU's Freshman of the Year Macy Hamblin had a golden opportunity to increase the Norse lead. Her shot from 9 yards out sailed high in the 64th minute. Ospreys pushed more players upfield looking to get back in the match. Their corner kick total reached four during this period. The Norse defense continued to hold strong and maintain a 2-0 lead.
75' to 90' - The Norse defense continued to stifle any North Florida attack. Lanie Keating managed the Ospreys only shot on target, but Brooke Shocker was equal to it and completed the shutout for the Norse.
FULLTIME BREAKDOWN - Northern Kentucky 2, North Florida 0
Corner Kicks: UNF 4, NKU 3 ; Fouls: UNF 11, NKU 14 ; Offside: UNF 0, NKU 2; Shots: UNF 7, NKU 10; Shots on Goal: UNF 1, NKU 5; Saves: UNF 3, NKU 1