Soccer gets home field advantage

Northern Kentucky University will become the first school in Great Lakes Valley Conference history to host both the men’s and women’s conference tournament in the same season.

“We are absolutely thrilled about this,” said Scott Eaton, the athletic director at NKU. “To have just one of our teams to be in a position to do it is incredable, to have both them is unimaginable. For us to be able to do this, and them have it at our incredible facility, we are just thrilled.”

The men’s team finished the season ranked 8th nationally and entered the GLVC tournament as the number two overall seed. They finished the regular season with an overall record of 12-2-3 and a conference record of 8-2-3. The Norse were able to go 8-1-0 at home, only dropping a game to number one overall seed Lewis University.

In the quarterfinals, the Norse fell behind when Rockhurst University got a quick goal to grab a 1-0. NKU trailed the rest of the first half until the 44th minute, when senior midfielder Stephen Beattie was able to drive home a game tying goal off of a free kick. The game deciding goal came in the second half when freshman forward Michael Holder was able to drive a shot into the net on a through ball from sophomore defender Paul Andrews. The Norse needed a little help from the University of Indianapolis to have home field advantage, and they got it when Indianapolis knocked off top seed Lewis 3-0.

“It’s huge to host at home, Lewis was supposed to host but lost 3-0 to Indy,” Beattie said. “Now the ball’s in our court. It’s all who prepares best, who takes their chances. That’s most important.”

Beattie was the leader of the men’s team this season, earning his third straight GLVC Player of the Year award. Beattie lead the Norse in goals, scoring 17 times, and assists with 12.

NKU also had four other players make the All-GLVC team, with sophomore defender Paul Andrews making the second team. Freshman forward Michael Holder, sophomore midfielder Michael Bartlet and freshman forward Nicholas Chiarot all received third team honors.

The women’s team, like the men’s team was able to finish the season ranked 8th nationally, but entered the GLVC tournament as the top overall seed. The Norse finished the regular season with an overall record of 15-1-1 and a conference record of 13-1-0. The Norse were able to stay undefeated at home with a record of 9-0-1.

Since the Norse grabbed the number one overall seed, they controlled their own destiny, meaning they would have home field with a quarterfinal win over Drury University. The Norse got off to a quick start by scoring two goals in the first minute of action. Senior forward Danielle Houge scored the first goal and gave out an assist on the second.

Junior midfielder Amanda Mason led the Norse this season with 15 goals, including seven game-winning goals and was named to the first team all GLVC team. Also joining Mason on the first team all GLVC is junior defender Laura Painter and sophomore goal keeper Rachael Wood, who helped the Norse post 14 regular season shut outs. Junior midfielder Kristi Hofmeyer and sophomore defender Stephanie Wengert earned all second team GLVC honors.

The men’s team will open semifinal play against Missouri S&T Nov. 5 at at 7:30 p.m. If the men win, they will play the winner of the University of Indianapolis and Quincy match in the GLVC championship game at 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 7. The women will play their semifinal match against Bellarmine University at 5 p.m. on Friday. If they win, they will play the winner between Wisconsin-Parkside and Quincy on Sunday at noon. All the games will be held at the NKU Soccer Complex.

Story by Nick Jones