Oakland Beats WIU 1-0 to Clinch League Title|
Oct. 28, 2012
ROCHESTER, Mich.-- A first-half goal by Brianne Horne, sealed a 1-0 victory for Oakland (9-5-3, 6-2) over Western Illinois (13-5-0, 5-3) on Sunday at the OU Soccer Field. The win, which came on Senior Day, clinched The Summit League regular season championship for the Golden Grizzlies.
"Championships are great," said OU head coach Nick O'Shea. "Once you have the lead, you don't want to open up anymore. Western Illinois is a tough team and they fought like crazy, so we had to do a good job to hold them off the board in the second half."
Horne scored her first goal of the year in the 13th minute to put Oakland in front. The freshman was in the right place at the right time to block an attempted clearance by a WIU defender and the ball deflected off her body and over the head of the goalkeeper.
With Oakland up a goal in the second half, Western Illinois picked up the pressure. In the 50th minute Abigail Haelewyn came through with the defensive play of the game when she headed Gina Scaffidi's shot off the goal line.
Senior goalkeeper Shannon Coley also made a key stop in the 54th minute when she made an acrobatic save to deny a near-post header from Sarah Blaase. Coley recorded 10 saves for her 13 career shutout, which ranks eighth best in Summit League history.
It is the eighth Summit League regular season title for the OU women's soccer program. The Golden Grizzlies also clinched the No. 1 seed for The Summit League Championship, which begins on Friday in Brookings, S.D.
"Next weekend is a big weekend as we try to win a league championship and advance to the NCAA Tournament," concluded O'Shea.