THE TURNING POINT: Ashland's junior goalkeeper Courtney Barker made a diving save to prevent Tiffin junior defender/forward Adrianna Currie from scoring on a penalty kick during the 45th minute to send the Eagles into halftime up 2-0.
STAT OF THE GAME: The win was Ashland's 10th on the season. The Eagles have earned double-digit wins in 14 of 22 seasons as a program, including all four of head coach Danny Krispinsky's years at the helm.
TIFFIN, Ohio - The Ashland University women's soccer team won, 4-1, at Tiffin on Friday (Oct. 28) afternoon to clinch the No. 2 seed in the 2016 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament.
"We had high expectations (coming into the season)," Ashland head coach Danny Krispinsky said. "Becoming one of the top seeds was our aim and goal for this year, but it's a long season. It's a tough journey. I just give our girls credit for earning that No. 2 seed."
Just 1:28 into the match, Ashland sophomore forward Deijah Swihart scored her team-high 10th goal of the season to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead.
"I liked that we got an early goal," Krispinsky said. "Getting a really early goal was something that we haven't really done this year."
Then, during the 27th minute, AU junior forward Morgan Bittengle dribbled around multiple Tiffin defenders and clanked one in off the top crossbar to put the Eagles up 2-0.
The Dragons had five shots in the first half, one of which was a penalty shot by junior Adrianna Currie that was set up by a foul inside of the 18 on Eagles sophomore defender Leanne Prandi. Currie struck the ball low and hard, but Ashland's junior goalkeeper Courtney Barker dove to her right to get both hands on the ball and made Ashland's only save of the game.
Bittengle scored her second goal of the match during the 60th minute to give Ashland a 3-0 edge. This was Bittengle's second two-goal match on the year, raising her season total to eight.
Tiffin didn't have a single corner kick in the match. Ashland had 11, one of which came off the foot of Kelsey McKernan and resulted in a Lauren Gokey goal that she headed in from right in front of the net to give the Eagles a 4-0 lead.
"I liked that we put the game away," Krispinsky said. "We didn't allow them to hang around. I thought we did a nice job with that."
Dragons' sophomore midfielder Abby Tabor scored Tiffin's lone goal in the match during the 69th minute.
"I didn't like that we gave up a goal," Krispinsky said. "But it was good that we put them away early."
The Eagles moved up one spot to No. 4 in the Midwest Region rankings on Wednesday (Oct. 26). The final rankings come out next Wednesday (Nov. 2), and the NCAA playoffs selection show is Nov. 7.
"The regional ranking kind of takes care of itself if we focus on our conference tournament," Krispinsky said. "It's all right there in front of us. We have to control what we can control, which is to go out and win our quarterfinal match."
UP NEXT: The Eagles will play the No. 7 seed in their GLIAC Tournament quarterfinal match at Ferguson Field on Tuesday (Nov. 1) at 3 p.m. They're awaiting the completion of Friday's GLIAC match results to find out which team will become the No. 7 seed.
"No matter who we play," Krispinsky said, "we'll be ready."