La Crosse, Wis. - The Vikings of Grand View University benefitted from two penalty kicks to help propel them to a 2-1 win over Viterbo University in the quarterfinals of the Midwest Collegiate Conference Tournament. The loss ends Viterbo season as they finish 8-9 on the season. Grand View will now play in the MCC semifinals against the winner of #1 Ashford University and #8 William Penn University next Saturday afternoon.
Grand View converted on their first penalty kick opportunity in the 18th minute after a foul was called inside the penalty box on Viterbo. Liz Slaton took the penalty kick and sent it past Viterbo goalkeeper Carley Esser (Fr. - Oconomowoc, Wis.). Grand View would continue to keep the pressure on Viterbo but it was the V-Hawks who would break through next. In the 34th minute, sophomore Lauren Neet (Plover, Wis.) took a pass from teammate Steph Wisen (Fr. - Wisconsin, Rapids, Wis.) and one touched it past Vikings goalie, Katie Zenz, to tie the score at one apiece.
The second half was a defensive battle for both teams although Grand View controlled the ball for most of the half. The Vikings outshot the V-Hawks 9-2 but it was V-Hawk's Esser who kept Viterbo in the game. Just as many of the fans thought the game may need extra time to decide the outcome, Viterbo was once again called for a foul inside the penalty box. Slaton took the penalty kick again for the Vikings and converted for her second goal of the game in the 83rd minute. Viterbo would try to change the speed of the game but was not able to convert in the final seven minutes.
Although the score was equal for most the game, Grand View finished the contest with a 17-8 advantage in shots. The Vikings also had a 4-1 edge in corner kicks. Esser single handily kept the V-Hawks in the game as she finished with nine saves. Wisen led the V-Hawk offense with three shots on goal. Her assist helped her finish the season with a MCC high 48 points as she scored a least one point in each of the final 14 games.
The loss ends the V-Hawk career of senior Anastasia Jensen (Anoka, Minn.) who played her final game in a V-Hawk uniform. The good news for V-Hawk head coach Scott Pirnstill is that he graduates just one senior and will return ten of his eleven starters next season. He is hopeful that the V-Hawks will be able to build on the successes they had this season.