No. 21 Panthers to Battle Saginaw Valley in First NCAA Tournament Match

Photo by Marc Miller
Photo by Marc Miller

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Ohio Dominican women's soccer program will make history on Friday, playing in its first ever NCAA Regional tournament.

The Panthers, who are ranked 21st nationally, received the fourth seed in the NCAA Division II Midwest Region and will play the fifth seeded Saginaw Valley State Cardinals. The match between ODU and SVSU will be played at the number one seed in the region, Wisconsin-Parkside's home field.

The Panthers are coming off their first GLIAC regular season championship and their first appearance in the GLIAC tournament championship match. ODU used a 15-4-1 overall record to grab a spot in the top six in the region.

First Team All-GLIAC selection, freshman Ashley Blake (Hilliard, OH), had a solid GLIAC tournament where she totaled eight points in the three matches. Her play in the semi-finals and championship, where she scored one goal and added one assist, was good enough to be named to the All-GLIAC tournament team. Blake leads the team with ten goals and five assists, totaling 25 points.

Junior Lauren Pratt (West Chester, OH) was also named to the All-GLIAC tournament team. Pratt scored the first goal in the 3-2 victory over Ashland in the semifinals. She is tied for second on the team in goals with five and has added two assists.

Another First Team All-GLIAC performer was selected to the All-Tournament team in sophomore Kethryn Mattingly (Beavercreek, OH). Mattingly, sophomore Amanda Fodor (Hilliard, OH), and senior Emily Spencer (Gibsonia, PA) have been the catalyst for a strong defense this season as each has made at least 18 starts in 20 games. The defense has allowed just 17 goals and has recorded nine shutouts.

The two GLIAC schools, ODU and SVSU, met in the regular season at Panther Stadium, in September, where the match ended in a scoreless draw. ODU held a decisive shot advantage, recording 22 total shots and having just as many shots on goal, seven, as SVSU had total in shots.

The Cardinals started the season unbeaten in their first ten matches holding an 8-0-2 record. SVSU finished the regular season with a 10-3-3 overall mark, and fell to Ashland in the GLIAC quarterfinals.

The Panthers will have to try to find a way to score against GLIAC Goalkeeper of the Year, Claire Spleth. Spleth has a goals against average of 0.84 and has recorded eight shutouts in 16 matches.

Ashley Henderson leads SVSU offensively with eight goals on the season.

The Panthers and Cardinals will battle to advance to the Regional semifinals which kickoff scheduled for 1 p.m. on Friday afternoon. Live stats and video broadcast will be available through Wisconsin-Parkside and can be found on ODU's women's soccer schdule web page.

Contact: Tyler Jester 

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