Norse win first-round NCAA Tournament game vs. Ashland

The lady Norse once again seek no mercy on their opponents, beating Ashland University Eagles with a 4-0 shutout Wednesday, Nov. 7 on Ashland’s home turf.

Ashland took a beating from the Norse who came out determined to prove they indeed are the number one team in the nation.

Despite NKU’s third seed in the tournament, they played with the heart of a number one team.

The Norse evened it our scoring two goals in each half. Senior, Betsy Moore, contributed two more goals off

of direct kicks. One of Moore’s goals was unassisted while the other assisted by senior, Tricia Ruark.

Moore, a great contributor to the Norse’s scoring this season was also named Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Year last week.

Moore has a total of 15 goals for the Norse so far this season and 17 assists.Norse coach, Bob Sheehan said, ” We think the world of her. She’s great on the dribble, and she can take people on. We have some other flank people who can get out and run too.”

Moore gave the Eagles fits all day.

Even when she didn’t score, her speed and ball-handling ability broke down the Ashland defense.

Ruark comments on teammate Moore, ” Betsy is one of those talent given players with the ability to run the flank with speed and she has helped the team in many close games this season. We expect that out of her.”

The Norse did not let down in the second half either.Coming off of a half time score of 2-0, the Norse came out and added two more.

One of the second half goals was scored off a corner kick from Ruark to Norse offender Bessie Black. Also contributing was junior mid-fielder, Hope Bushelman, scoring her third goal of the season for the Norse. This was a hole just to deep for Ashland to dig out of. “When we scored to make it 3-0, that out us over the top,” said Moore.

It is never easy coming from behind, even for Ashland who had the upper hand with the number two seed going into the match.

NKU never gave AU much space to work with. When the Eagles did get an opportunity, it presented no problem for the Norse defense who played straight-up hard defense and turned them away.

NKU handed once undefeated Ashland their first loss of the season.

The lady Norse advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament in Erie Pennsylvania to meet top-seeded Mercyhurst College.

Mercyhurst is the only team giving the Norse and trouble this season the Norse will have a chance to avenge their only loss this season when they play Mercyhurst Lakers.

Mercyhurst previously beat NKU 1-0 two weeks ago, Oct. 28 in regular season play.

These two teams face each other in the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive season.

In last year’s playoffs the Norse downed the Lakers on the way to the NCAA championship game.

The Norse unexpectedly had to play on the road for two playoff games due to taking the lower seed,It looks like they have put that behind them.Moore said, ” It was a big disappointment after we found out, we had to pick it up.”

Also commenting on the lower seed for the tournament mid-fielder, Kendra Zinser said, “It was definitely unexpected since we were ranked number one nationally for much of the season. It was good for us as a team though because it motivated us more.”