UCO Women’s Soccer wins MIAA Championship

The 10th ranked University of Central Oklahoma soccer team knocked off Missouri Western State University 4-0 on Sunday to win the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Championship at Spratt Stadium.

“I just want to say how proud I am of this team,” said UCO head coach Mike Cook. “They have worked so hard to achieve this goal, but it’s not our top goal. We are focused on doing something very special here. We’ll celebrate this for a minute and then turn our focus to the next game.”

With the win, the Bronchos improve to 16-0 on the regular season and 9-0 in conference play. UCO has given themselves a three game lead over second place University of Central Missouri.

Regardless of how the rest of the season plays out, with just two games remaining, UCO will finish with the best record in the MIAA, making them the champions. This is UCO’s first MIAA championship since joining the league in 2012.

“We did a lot of good things today,” Cook said. “I was proud of the way the team fought early and kept that going. This was a big game for us and the girls really stepped up. As a coach, you love to see that in your team.”

Katie Killion continued her reign as top goal-scorer in the country after pushing two goals past the Griffons’ goalkeeper. She scored the first points for the Bronchos.

Killion’s first goal came in the in the 30th minute after she headed cross in from Morgan Cherry. Her second came in the 55th minute as she scored from 20 yards out, assisted by Kelsie Eason. She now has 22 goals on the season.

Shortly after, Eason would score to the right side of the net after taking a pass from Asha Haile at the top of the box. Every player who had an assist in Sunday’s matchup would eventually score, as Haile would find her shot in the 72nd minute, her 12th goal on the season.

Freshman goalkeeper Kelsi Gibson improved her individual record to 14-0 on the season as she made four saves Sunday. It was her 12th shutout of the season. She currently leads the nation in goals against average of 0.16.

“[This team can go] as far as they want to go,” Cook said. “We’re playing great defense, we’re scoring a lot of goals, got solid goal tending. Just stay focused, bring it every game; we know we’re going to get everyone’s best shot, so we just got to bring it every game and play for 90 minutes.”

The Bronchos will end their regular season by playing the Northeastern State University RiverHawks at 7 p.m. on Friday and then the Missouri Southern State University Lions at 1 p.m. next Sunday. Both games will be at home on Tom Thompson Field.

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