Soccer Nets MIAA Championship
The University of Central Oklahoma secured the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association tournament championship with a 6-1 win over the 2017 National Champions, University of Central Missouri, at Tom Thompson Field on Sunday.
UCO is now both the regular season and tournament champions for the MIAA, improving to 20-1 on the season. Head coach Mike Cook said this honor is extremely satisfying and he is proud of how the team has handled this season.
BRONCHOS WIN! Central Oklahoma beats Central Missouri 6-1 to win the 2018 MIAA Women’s Soccer Championship!#RollChos
— UCO Bronchos (@ucoathletics) November 4, 2018
“It’s probably harder to win the regular season title as it takes 11 solid games,” Cook said. “[I’m] so proud of the girls for sticking with it day in and day out throughout the season and getting the job done.”
Central Missouri’s only goal of the game came after a deflected cross by Jada Scott gave Makayla Toth a shot right in front of the goal within the first ten seconds of start time. Cook said the way UCO played the first few minutes was a shock.
“We just stood around on the opening whistle and seemed to be a bit slow in adjusting and paying attention to what they were doing right off the opening kick,” Cook said.
The Bronchos tied the game in the 11th minute when a deflection gave Camrie Hurst a shot from the top left. Camille Greer converted a shot from the top of the box off another deflection in the 13th minute to make it 2-1.
The first-half flurry continued when Morgan Cherry assisted Katie Killion on a fast break for a shot in front of the net. This was the 27th goal of the season for Killion, who is also the league’s Offensive Player of the Year.
Greer scored again in the 36th minute on a nice header from a Kelsie Eason corner kick to put UCO up 4-1. Cook said Greer has been one of the team’s best players the entire season.
“She is always very consistent, works very hard and wins so many balls for us in the midfield,” Cook said. “We could not be more happy for her scoring a couple of goals today.”
MIAA Frehsman of the Year Taryn Kedzior sent a 40-yard shot over the hands of the goalie for the fifth goal of the first half for UCO; Ashley Snider assisted.
Killion returned the favor to Cherry in the 47th minute with a cross, giving Cherry a shot right in front of the net.
UCO defense allowed only eight Central Missouri shots while getting off 34 shots on the other end. Senior goalkeeper Ally Salls played all 90 minutes in goal for the Bronchos and allowed just one goal with one save.
This win caps off a tournament run for the Bronchos, who beat Washburn University 4-1 in the quarterfinals and Fort Hays State University 3-0 in the semifinals.
“This whole MIAA tournament, they have been extremely focused, very composed and mature,” Cook said. “They are willing to stick together no matter what happens.”
Cook said he feels the team has what it takes to make a deep run this postseason.
“We are all extremely humble yet hungry to see what we can do in the NCAA national tournament,” Cook said.
The Bronchos earned the MIAA’s automatic bid to the NCAA Central Regionals and will play on Nov. 9. The team will find out who they play, as well as if they will be hosting the first and second rounds, during the selection show on Nov. 5 at 5:30 p.m. on ncaa.com.