MCC punches its ticket to nationals

MCC punches its ticket to nationals

ROCHESTER - The MCC women's soccer team earned a spot in the NJCAA Division 1 national tournament by defeating ASA College 3-1 Sunday in the District E championship.

Elin Eklund scored once in each half and Eleni Markou converted a penalty kick for the Tribunes (12-3-2), who will return to nationals in search of their ninth NJCAA national title.

Sunday's win was the 11th in a row for Monroe as well as a measure of revenge against the Avengers. ASA had defeated the Tribunes 4-0 in the season opener on Aug. 26.

Eklund broke a scoreless tie with just under 10 minutes to go in the first half with a brilliant individual sequence.  Off an MCC corner, Eklund controlled the ball and sent a shot that was saved by ASA goalie Sarah Dinert. The Avengers attempted a clear, but Eklund picked it off and blasted it home for a 1-0 lead.

Eklund added her second score in the 58th minute, and that proved to be the eventual game-winner. Gabriella Hallnan started the play by bringing the ball up the right sideline before sending it to Tenysha Taylor in the middle.

Taylor played it to Eklund, who took one touch and beat Dinert to the top right corner of the net for a 2-0 advantage.

Monroe then added insurance just a minute and 24 seconds later. ASA was called for a handball in the box, and Markou stepped up and nailed the penalty kick to make it 3-nil.

The Avengers broke through with just over 28 minutes left. Kaylane Araujo took a pass and was alone with MCC keeper Caitie Broderick in front of her. Broderick made a diving stop of the initial shot, but the ball bounced right back off Araujo and in to cut the lead to 3-1.

That would be the last real opportunity afforded to ASA, however, as the clocked ticked down on another MCC district championship.

Broderick finished with four saves on the game. The physical contest featured 31 fouls between the two rivals. Each team took 10 shots.

Next up for the Tribunes is a trip to Melbourne, Fla., Nov. 14-19, for the NJCAA Division 1 national tournament. More information will available soon.