Cincinnati, Ohio – A stirring 2018 run for the Transylvania women's soccer team came to a close on Tuesday evening as the Mount St. Joseph University Lions held the Pioneers scoreless, 3-0 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament semifinals at Schueler Field.
Starting off their conference tournament crusade one day earlier than expected due to anticipated stormy weather, the Pioneers embarked upon their first HCAC Tournament appearance in three years as the No. 3 seed, venturing to the home of the No. 2 seed Lions for the second meeting of the year in three weeks. Transylvania faced Mount St. Joseph on Tuesday aiming to return to the HCAC Championship match for the first time in five seasons while aiming to return the favor to the host team after the Lions handed Transy a final-minute 3-2 setback in their lone regular season meeting of the season.
But in Tuesday's HCAC semifinal, the Lions prevailed, rolling out a consistent defensive performance while scoring two early goals to ensure a comfortable result.
The first chapter of Tuesday's playoff match was a see-saw affair as the Lions reeled off four early shots and tried to test Transylvania freshman goalie Morgan Patton to no avail. Transylvania then took its turn firing away on the Lions' goal as freshman back Sophia Mitchell and senior midfielder Noel Obata each challenged Lions goalkeeper Megan Gilpin.
The Lions swung back and notched the first goal in the 13th minute as Hannah Schloemer found the back of the net for a 1-0 lead. Mount St. Joseph kept its foot on the pedal with a follow-up goal seven minutes later to take a two-goal advantage.
The rest of the half became a battle of possession as the Pioneers continued to try and find their footing. Transylvania waged its battle by moving the ball upfield with consistency, earning a collection of corner kicks in the first 15 minutes of the second half.
While Transylvania's opportunities went waning, Mount St. Joseph continued to capitalize, manifesting its third score of the evening in the 63rd minute on a goal from Jodie Weimer.
With a three-goal advantage in hand, the Lions locked down on defense and limited Transylvania's offensive threat over the final half-hour as they advanced to the HCAC Championship for a Saturday date with No. 1 seed Hanover.
Mount St. Joseph had the upper hand offensively on Tuesday, gathering 22 shots to seven by the Pioneers. Patton put on a valiant performance in goal, stopping 11 of 14 shots faced on the night before being replaced by senior keeper Ally Barfield, who worked the final 10 minutes of the match and her college career.
Despite a sudden end to their 2018 run on Tuesday, the Pioneers signed off on one of their finest seasons this decade. Transylvania recorded an overall record of 13-5-2, and 6-2-1 in the HCAC, the third-best record in conference. The 2018 run marked the first winning season for the Pioneers in five years, its first winning conference record in three years, and the most wins for a Transylvania women's soccer program in five seasons.
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