KALAMAZOO—The Bronco women's soccer team turned a stellar defensive performance into a Mid-American Conference Tournament Championship and a trip to the NCAA Tournament Sunday, Nov. 10, in Ypsilanti, Mich.
The team rode Ali Russo's 62nd-minute goal to a 1-0 victory over Ball State at Eastern Michigan University's Scicluna Field. Aubrey Sudomier connected with Russo, a native of Kalamazoo, down the right flank for the Bronco's lone goal. The sophomore fired from the far corner and into the net for her third goal of the season.
The Broncos held Ball State to just seven shots overall and allowed just two to reach WMU goaltender Michelle Watson. Watson made both saves and recorded her 27th career shutout.
"I am so proud of these players," says head coach Nate Norman. "They have worked so hard. I give a lot of credit to Ball State, as they are a very good team and it was a very difficult game. Ali scored a great goal for us today.
This marks the second MAC Championship for the program, coming 10 years after the first in 2003.
Russo, Rachel Chaney, Lindsey Lee and Kylie Nylen were named to the MAC All-Tournament team. Russo assisted on Chaney's game-tying goal in the quarterfinals against Kent State and also scored both of WMU's goals in a 2-1 win over Ball State earlier in the season.
WMU now waits to find out where they will head for the NCAA College Cup.