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NKU women’s soccer team picks up 2-0 shutout win over Cleveland State

Norse have now won three in a row

March 17, 2021

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The Northern Kentucky women’s soccer team got goals from freshman midfielder Sofia Wilmes and sophomore midfielder Kayla Wypasek, and defeated the Cleveland State Vikings 2-0 on Wednesday at NKU Soccer Stadium.

Wilmes’ scoring play occurred very early into the start of play, when senior forward Kailey Ivins dribbled the ball down the right side of the box and found Wilmes in a two-on-one opportunity near the goal, setting Wilmes up to send the ball into the goal at the 3:28 mark for a 1-0 NKU lead.

The rest of the first half remained closely contested, as the both teams were aggressive at attacking the box, and keeping the opposing team’s keepers busy.

The Norse had two scoring opportunities within a ten-second span in the 27th minute of the first half. An initial shot attempt by Ivins was saved by Cleveland State goalkeeper Stevie Holbrook. The shot deflected toward NKU junior forward Kiley Keehan, whose shot was subsequently blocked by Cleveland State.

For the first half, NKU was able to get off three shot attempts, while the Vikings found four opportunities to score, but came up short on each one of them.

Much of that can be attributed to the play of NKU junior goalkeeper Mimi Stines, an exceptional performer for the Norse during their 2-0 win on Wednesday. 

“Mimi has really stepped up to become a terrific leader. I’m really pleased with Mimi, she made a couple big saves, and again, she shows a lot of leadership and character as well,” Head Coach Bob Sheehan said.

Both teams were held scoreless to begin the second half, as the Norse continued to display solid defense and prevent CSU from getting on the scoreboard. The Vikings got five shots in the second half, but just two came on goal, including an attempt by Cleveland State’s Maddie Young, that was saved by Stines in a brilliant, diving effort in the 46th minute.

“We didn’t really give up many shots in the box, we gave up some shots from outside the box that really weren’t dangerous” Sheehan said. When they did get closer into the dangerous area, I thought Chloe [Mills] and Lily [Menssen] were absolutely fantastic and our whole back line.”

With the Norse leading 1-0 heading into the latter part of the second half, the team needed a cushion on the scoreboard, and got one courtesy of Wypasek. In the 72nd minute, the sophomore took her first shot of the season off an assist from sophomore forward Lindsey Meyer, and blasted the ball past Cleveland State’s keeper, pushing the Norse ahead 2-0.

“Lindsey was driving to the box, and we have been working on box organization all week and all season really, and it was just well executed back to me, and I slotted it in,” Wypasek said.

With the victory, the Norse improved to 4-0-1 in the 2021 conference-only spring season. The victory now gives NKU 13 points, which ties them for second in the Horizon League with IUPUI and Oakland. All three still trail the current leader Milwaukee, who has 15 points.

NKU has now won three consecutive games since tying the Oakland Golden Grizzlies at home back on Feb. 24.

“We’re playing with a lot of confidence, we’re really excited in the position that we’re in, and we’re just ready for the next one,” Wypasek said.

The Norse will head back on the road for their next game, traveling to Fort Wayne, Indiana to meet the Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons on March 24. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m.

 

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