Jeff Braun, Assistant Athletic Director
FREMONT – No. 14 Midland University brought the winning streak to 12 games with a 3-0 shutout over Morningside College in the first round of the Great Plains Athletic Conference Postseason Tournament. The top-seeded Warriors defended the home turf to improve to 15-2-1 on the year while ending Morningside’s post-season hopes and dropping the Mustangs overall record to 8-11.
The win brought Midland’s shutout streak to 810 minutes with the last goal allowed coming in an 8-1 win over Dakota Wesleyan on October 5. The Warriors have outshot the opposition 189-38 during the stretch including a 27-10 edge in shots this afternoon. Junior goalkeeper Rachel Thigpen continues to dominate between the pipes and boasts a .34 goals against average on the year. Thigpen has improved statistically from her 2018 NAIA First Team All-American season where her goals against average sat at .44 after 18 contests.
“Once again our backline was up to the challenge,” said head coach Greg Jarosik. “The great thing about today was they got in on the scoring action as well. Marley had a great set piece and Harlee finished well early to set the tone.”
The quarterfinal matchup opened with both teams exchanging shots and Midland sending four shots wide of goal. The Warriors were able to find the back of the net in the 21st minute as a corner from Brittany Llanes managed to be cleared by the Morningside defense but found the foot of Harlee Zancanelli for the goal. Midland continued to pressure the defense, but shots were sailing just high through much of the first half. The Warriors would carry a 1-0 lead into the break after outshooting the Mustangs 14-6.
The second half seemed to mirror the first with the Warriors pelting the Morningside keeper, but with nothing finding the back of the net. It would be a foul on Morningside to set up a free kick from Marley Farrell at the 15-yard line. Farrell’s shot caught the keeper off guard and brought the lead to 2-0 in the 67th minute. The goal was Farrell’s first of the year. Things got physical down the stretch as Morningside could sense their season coming to an end. A scramble in front of the net would result in a goal from Journee McDowell with under ten minutes to go. The 3-0 lead would stand as time expired on Morningside’s season.
“We eagerly await the arrival of our next opponent on Tuesday,” added Coach Jarosik said.
Top-seeded Midland (15-2-1) will play host to 5th-seeded Briar Cliff (11-7) on Tuesday, November 12 with game time TBA. Briar Cliff is responsible from Midland’s lone blemish in GPAC competition after taking a 1-0 win from the Warriors on September 21 in Sioux City, Iowa.