MLC women clinch UMAC Tournament spot

NEW ULM, Minn. – The Martin Luther College women’s soccer team clinched a spot in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conferecne Postseason Tournament for the first time since 2005 with a 7-0 win over North Central Friday.

The top four finishers in the conference are eligible for the tournament, and the Knights have clinched one of those top four spots.

The Knights dominated from the start of the game, scoring four times in the first half and three more in the second while outshooting the Rams 33-5.

Jenna Maurer and Lauren Maertz each scored a pair of goals, while Bethany Schultz and Alex Hastings each added one.

Keely Keese and Julia Barthels combined to stop all five shots they faced in goal for the shutout.

The two goals moved Maurer’s team-best total to 15 this season, and she also finished with two assists. Maertz scored her fifth and sixth goals of the season, while Schultz added two assists to her 12th goal this year. Hastings’ goal was her eighth.

MLC improved to 10-5 on the season and 8-3 in the UMAC.

The Knights will return to action at 12 p.m. Saturday when they host Northwestern.

MLC Men Fall 1-0 to NCU

NEW ULM -The MLC men’s soccer team was unable to take advantage of a number of strong scoring opportunities in a 1-0 loss to North Central Friday.

The Knights outshot the Rams 29-16 overall and 14-7 on goal, but weren’t able to get anything past the NCU defense or goalkeeper Nathan Kraines.

The turning point of the game happened just 33 seconds before the end of the first half, when Kraines stopped a Ryan Lemke penalty shot attempt, and the Rams countered with a goal off a deflection outside the box just 18 seconds later (with 15 seconds to play in the half).

MLC had a number of other strong chances in the box, but the Rams did a solid job of blocking the Knights’ shot attempts, and Kraines stopped all 14 shots that made their way on goal.

Eric Hahn stopped six of the seven shots he faced in goal for MLC, while Ryan Lemke attempted eight shots to lead both teams.

MLC fell to 4-12 on the season and 3-8 in league play in defeat.

The Knights will return to action at 2:15 p.m. Saturday when they host Northwestern.

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