Nebraska Wesleyan extended its home unbeaten streak in women’s soccer to 19 games and won the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) regular season title with a 1-0 victory against Morningside College on a wet and chilly Saturday night in Abel Stadium.
After a scoreless first half and a number of squandered scoring opportunities, NWU’s Lindsay Priefert (Jr., Lincoln, Neb., Southeast High School) lobbed a ball into the box and teammate Liz Baltzell (So., Omaha, Neb., Duchesne Academy) flashed in front of Kelly Berst, Morningside’s goalkeeper. Berst made a feet-first slide to try and block the ball, but Baltzell managed a touch just before colliding with Berst, which allowed the ball to roll into the net for the game’s only goal at 71:24.
“We had too many good reasons to play great tonight and we did,” NWU Head Coach Taylor Haynes said, referring to the streak and conference title being at stake. “We do have a sense of duty when it comes to protecting our house, but I was surprised at how one-sided this match was. We really dominated, especially in the midfield.”
The Prairie Wolves have not lost in Abel Stadium since Morningside won 2-1 in double overtime on Oct. 11, 2003, and during the 19-game stretch at home, Nebraska Wesleyan has 13 shutouts and has outscored its opponents by a combined total of 53-8.
NWU (13-3 overall, 9-2 GPAC) out shot Morningside on Saturday 31-3 and had 11 more shots on goal than the Mustangs, who fell to 10-8 overall and third place in the league standings at 8-3. Dordt College finished second at 8-2-1 in GPAC play.
“We have some hardware, but now it’s back to work,” Haynes said. “We have to prove again on Tuesday that we are worthy of a bid to the NCAA tournament.”
The NWU women close out their regular season on Oct. 25 with a home match against Simpson College (11-3-1) and need a win to keep their NCAA Division III Championship hopes for the postseason alive.
“It will be like a first round tournament match, because we have to win it, and I hope that helps us. We seem to play better when we’re on edge,” Haynes said.