ISU Soccer Wins MVC Tournament Championship; Carlson Named MVP
Nov. 8, 2009
OMAHA, Neb. - For the first time in six years, the Illinois State women's soccer team clinched a bid for the NCAA Tournament after winning the 2009 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Sunday in a 1-0 shutout of Creighton in Omaha, Neb. MVC Tournament Most Valuable Player, Redbird sophomore Jessica Carlson scored the game-winning goal, her second of the tournament. Illinois State will represent the MVC in the NCAA Championship, with pairings announced on Monday (7 p.m. CT on ESPNews).
The last and only other time the Redbirds have won tournament was in 2003, when No. 2 ISU advanced over No. 5 Creighton on penalty kicks.
"I had a good feeling coming to the game," said head coach Drew Roff. "When you have a group of five seniors who started the game for us and have been through so much together, I just had a feeling that it was our time. It was just a great team performance. We had no goals allowed in the tournament. It takes a whole team to defend, but our back four really stepped up to give us the win."
Carlson broke the scoreless tie with her 11th goal of the season 56 minutes into the game, marking her seventh game-winning goal of the season. Carlson blocked the clear attempt by Creighton, getting past the defender to find the back of the net. The Redbird forward scored both of the Redbirds goals on the weekend and leads the team in points with 27.
With the win, the Redbirds move to a 12-6-1 overall record this season, while Creighton ends its season with a 13-6-1 record. The 12 Redbird wins this season ties for the fourth-most wins in the program history.
The Redbird defense held the Bluejays to just seven shots on the game, recording Illinois State's eighth shutout victory of the season. Redbird goalkeeper Sasha Reiber is now 9-5-1 overall this season and picked up her seventh shutout of the season. Reiber ranks third at Illinois State for career shutouts with 13.
Despite the Redbirds outshooting the Bluejays, 11-4, the game remained scoreless after the first half. Wisniewski led Illinois State in shots on the half with three, while three out of four of Creighton's shots came from Brittany Neumann. Reiber recorded one save, while Creighton's Alicia Montgomery turned in five saves on the half. Illinois State `s best chance for a goal in the half came from a Carlson free kick to Mutters, but the header was wide and Illinois State was called offsides. Neumann had Creighton's best chance for the goal in the half, but her breakaway shot hit the goal post.
Illinois State is 7-10-5 all-time in the State Farm MVC Tournament, including a 4-2-1 mark as the No. 1 seed. The game marked the fifth meeting in tournament play between Creighton and Illinois State, with the last three coming in the title game.
On the season, the Redbirds are third in program history for points in a season at Illinois State with 100 and goals in a season with 38.
The Redbirds will make their post-season appearance at the NCAA Tournament Friday with the pairings announced Monday at 7 p.m. CT on ESPNews.
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