NewsMVNU Clinches Share of Conference Crown as Meade Wins 100th
written by Dave Parsons, Sports Information Director
MOUNT VERNON, Ohio - On the day in which the Mount Vernon Nazarene University women’s soccer team honored seniors Allie Warnemunde, Lindsay Saulsgiver, Allison Elifritz, and Krysti Wilson, there were plenty of memorable moments to go around as the Lady Cougars downed Walsh University 5-1 in American Mideast Conference South Division action at Cougar Field.
MVNU (10-6-1, 7-1-0 AMC South) got on the scoreboard in the 16th minute when junior forward Kristy Brandolini converted a penalty kick opportunity for a 1-0 lead after sophomore forward Page Miller was taken down in the box.
The score remained that way until just before the end of the first half when Brandolini took a cross from junior forward Heather Ross and slipped a shot into the back of the net for a 2-0 lead with just under three minutes remaining before the break.
Just over a minute later, Elifritz extended the Lady Cougars’ lead to 3-0 as she ripped a shot from the top of the box into the back of the net for her fifth goal of the season with 1:33 left in the half.
The Lady Cavaliers (7-10-0, 3-5-0 AMC South) avoided a shutout in the 52nd minute as Walsh cut the deficit to 3-1 to start the second half as Haley Rogers scored off a corner kick by Amanda Waltz.
However, a minute later, Brandolini scored her third goal of the match and her 11th of the season to push MVNU’s lead back to 4-1. Junior defender Stacy Robey started the play with a corner kick that Miller headed to Brandolini for the score. It also marked the fourth career hat trick for Brandolini as she tied former Lady Cougar standouts Lisa Hinman and Kristen Votapek for the school record in that category.
With just under 15 minutes left in the match, Brandolini set up MVNU’s final goal of the day as she slipped a through ball to Warnemunde, who found the back of the net for her fourth goal of the season and a 5-1 lead. The assist was Brandolini’s team-leading 12th of the season and also moved her into second place on the Lady Cougars’ career points list with 135.
With the victory, MVNU claimed a share of the AMC South Division title along with Ohio Dominican University. It marked the third conference title in four years for the Lady Cougars, who also won conference crowns in 2003 and 2004.
The win was also the 100th career victory for MVNU head coach Jonathan Meade in just his seventh season. Meade, who is the only coach in the Lady Cougars’ history, now has a 100-45-4 mark at MVNU.
"We played very well today and it was great to do that on the day that we clinched a conference title,” said Meade. "Our seniors all contributed heavily to this win on the day that we honored them, and that also helps to make this special. All four of them have had great careers here.”
"Reaching this milestone reminds me of all the players who have come through our program,” said Meade when asked about the significance of reaching the 100-win mark. "While I get the credit for the wins on my record, this is a testament to all the players who have played here and what they have accomplished.”
Wilson posted one save in goal for the Lady Cougars, while Walsh’s Rachel Burcher stopped seven shots. MVNU out-shot the Lady Cavaliers 23-6 overall and 12-2 on goal.
The Lady Cougars will return to action on Saturday when MVNU will host a first-round AMC Tournament match most likely against Tiffin University at 11:30 a.m. The winner of that match will advance to the NAIA Region IX Final Four next weekend.