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The Lakeland Muskies advanced to the semifinal round of the Lake Michigan Conference tournament with a 1-0 win over the Maranatha Baptist Bible College Crusaders at Muskie Field on Oct. 29. In the 62nd minute Briana Plautz took a corner kick that bounced off a Crusader defender and into the back of the net for the lone Muskie goal.
"The first half Maranatha really dominated us," said head coach Marc Colwell. "We lacked the focus and emotion we needed for this game. I think we were just a little bit tense. We survived the first half even though we didn't play well and Maranatha did. In the second half we were able to find a goal and we'll take it. At this point it's not about being pretty it is about getting the win and moving on."
Maranatha had several opportunities early in the game, including one when junior goaltender Alli Weiss came out of the net and missed the ball. However, the Muskies defense was able to block the shot.
The Muskies came out a flat early in the first half giving up four quick shots. Lakeland buckled down later in the first half and did not allow a single shot on goal the rest of the game.
"Our defense has been tremendous all season," said Colwell. "Kelly Hopfinger was moved back to sweeper and she has played well back there. Maggie Short, Allyce Maus and also Danielle Ristow have all played well in the back. Our midfield does a great job with Briana Plautz and Laura Engel in the middle and Susan Webb and Tracy bins out wide. They have all put the work in defensively and obviously Alli (Weiss) has been tremendous back there for us as well."
The Muskies will face Concordia in the semifinals on Wednesday, Oct. 2 at 1:30 p.m. on the Lakeland campus.