COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Coming off its first GLIAC tournament victory, the Ohio Dominican women's soccer team will look to run its winning streak to 10 on Friday.
The nationally ranked No. 23 Panthers will be hosting the GLIAC semi-finals and championship matches this weekend for the first time in school history. ODU was rewarded the honor by holding a 10-1-1 conference mark in the regular season, earning a share of the GLIAC title. Since the Panthers own the tiebreaker against Grand Valley State, after a 1-0 victory over the Lakers, the opposing three teams will travel to Columbus this weekend.
The Panthers are coming off a 3-1 victory over Northern Michigan in the GLIAC quarterfinals, for the school's first GLIAC postseason win. The Panthers were aided by two goals and one assist from freshman Ashley Blake (Hilliard, OH), as well as goals from senior Jordan Mazzi (Sunbury, OH) and sophomore Emily Riviello (Huber Heights, OH). ODU jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, before NMU was able to tie it at 1-1 with about 20 minutes remaining in the opening half. Two late first half goals sealed the victory for the Panthers.
ODU will square off against Ashland in the second semi-final match on Friday. The Panthers and Eagles have met once this season with ODU taking a 2-1 victory in Ashland. Blake recorded both goals in the first 17 minutes of the match for the Panthers.
Blake leads the charge for ODU with nine goals and four assists. She has four goals and two assists, totaling 10 points in her last two matches, including two goals and two assists in the win against NMU. Blake was recently named to the First Team All-GLIAC, as well as, being picked as the Freshman of the Year.
Mazzi, a First Team All-GLIAC selection, has had a strong senior season for the Black and Gold as she has recorded five goals and a career season high three assists.
The Panther defense has been stout this season allowing only 13 goals in 18 games. As a team, ODU ranked 39th nationally in goals against average at .683 coming into the week. The Panthers also came into the week tied for 37th nationally in shutout percentage at .529.
The defense is led by two sophomore, First Team All-GLIAC performers in Amanda Fodor (Hilliard, OH) and Kethryn Mattingly (Beavercreek, OH). The two sophomores have each played in every game with a combined 35 starts. The two defenders have pitched in on the offensive end as well scoring a combined three goals and adding five assists.
Senior Laura Clark (Lapeer, MI) has come on strong since battling back from an illness, as she holds unbeaten 5-0-0 record this season. Clark has three shutouts and a goals against average of 0.33.
This will be the second time this season that Ashland will travel to Columbus for a tournament, as they were the second GLIAC member in the ODU Invitational at the beginning of the season. The Eagles are also led by a freshman in Morgan Bittengle. Bittengle, a Second Team All-GLIAC selection, leads the conference in both goals, 15, and points, 34. She is coming off a three goal game in the GLIAC quarterfinals.
Freshman Kelsey McKernan is second on the team in goals for AU, and leads the team with five assists.
Ashland came into the GLIAC tournament as the No. 5 seed, as they upset the fourth seeded Cardinals of Saginaw Valley State by a score of 5-2. The Eagles come into the match with a 12-6-0 record overall and winners of their last five matches.
ODU holds a 5-1-2 record all time against AU, and the Panthers have won the past two meetings.
The Panthers and Eagles are scheduled to kickoff at 7 p.m. on Friday. The first semi-final match at 4 p.m. will be between Michigan Tech and Grand Valley State. All matches will be played at Panthers Stadium.
Contact: Tyler Jester