The NKU Norse women’s soccer team overcame a 2-0 second half deficit Thursday to beat Detroit Mercy 3-2 in the Horizon League semifinal match, a game the Norse lost in penalty kicks last year.
The winning goal came in the 82nd minute, when freshman Ally Perkins scored from close range on a give and go from Jessica Frey. The Norse held off the Titans for the final seven minutes of action to advance.
Perkins’ goal helped the Norse advance to the first conference championship in NKU’s DI history, and their first since 2011 when they were in the Great Lakes Valley Conference at the DII level.
“I’m really proud of our team and think it was a well-deserved victory. When we went down 2-0 in the 55th minute, our team obviously responded really well,” said head coach Bob Sheehan in a statement.
The Norse outshot Detroit in the first half, despite being down 1-0, but ended up being outshot 17-15. Both teams ended with six shots on goal.
Goalkeeper Emily Lohmann made four saves for the Norse, keeping the Titans scoreless in the final thirty minutes. Lohmann has record nine save during the entire postseason with a .818 save percentage.
Jessica Frey has been a force on offense, recording four points in the game with her goal and two assists. In tonight’s game, the First-Team all Horizon League junior recorded her fourth goal of postseason play.
The Norse scored all three of their goals in a thirty minute period, starting in the 59th minute, when Frey scored on an assist by Horizon League Player of the Year Macy Hamblin.
The equalizer goal followed two minutes later, when freshman Shawna Zaken followed a missed shot by Frey and scored inside the box.
“I’m really proud of Macy and Jessica up front who have scored big goals for us all year and have been a big part of the attack, but in addition, it was also great to have two freshmen, Shawna and Ally score key goals,” Sheehan said.
The Norse will face Milwaukee in the Horizon League championship. Milwaukee beat NKU 1-0 in their regular season matchup. In that game, the Norse lost both Frey and Lohmann to injury. Both will be available for the championship.
If the Norse win the championship game, they will earn an automatic berth into the NCAA Division I women’s soccer tournament, the first time any NKU-sanctioned sport would make an appearance at the Division I level.
Here is some Twitter reaction from the Norse win:
WSOC FINAL: NORSE WIN!!! NORSE WIN!!! They defeat Detroit Mercy, 3-2, and are headed to the #HLWSOC finals on Saturday! #NorseUp pic.twitter.com/dSibXlwjCp
— Norse Game Day (@NKUNorseGameDay) November 3, 2016
So proud of this teams effort and attitude!! Congrats Coach Sheehan and team! #NorseUp #OnTheRise https://t.co/SiWhZmS52P
— Ken Bothof (@KenBothofAD) November 3, 2016
WE ARE HEADED TO THE SHIP ? #norsedub pic.twitter.com/T2Aim2heel
— NKU Women’s Soccer (@NKUNorseWSOC) November 3, 2016
Congratulations @NKUNorseWSOC! Good luck on Saturday, bring home that @HorizonLeague Championship ??? #NorseUp https://t.co/moc0lzLNwf
— NKU Softball (@NKUNorseSB) November 4, 2016