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The Lakeland Muskies defeated the Concordia Falcons 1-0 in the Lake Michigan Conference semifinals and have advanced to the LMC Championship Match. The Muskies scored early in the first half and were able to hold on for the rest of the match.
"We put the work in to get the number two seed and I think it made a big difference being able to host instead of having to travel to Concordia," said head coach Marc Colwell. "I was happy to see us play with so much emotion and so well."
In the 16th minute senior Susan Webb collected the ball on the near sideline near the Muskies bench and was able to touch it to sophomore Laura Engel. Engel one-touched the ball into open space in the middle of the field and sophomore Amy Christenson ran through the defenders and dribbled the ball 12 yards and into the box. She kicked the ball right underneath a diving junior goalkeeper Daria Klotz for the only goal of the match.
"The first 30 minutes was some of the best soccer we've played on the attack," said Colwell. "We had some great pressure and chances. It just takes one to win it and we'll take it."
The Muskies dominated the play in the first half of the match. However, in the second half with time running down Concordia brought up all of their players and the Muskies were able to survive the onslaught. Junior goalkeeper Alli Weiss made six saves in the second half.
"They had the wind in the second half and with the one goal lead it gets a little bit tense," said Colwell. "They pushed everyone forward going after us, which any team would do. Our girls did a great job defensively to hold them at the end. Concordia is a very strong team and we had some close calls, but Kelly Hopfinger, Alli Weiss and the rest of the defense came through for us."
The third-seeded Muskies will host Dominican on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 1p.m. for the LMC Championship.
"This win puts us in a position to make the NCAA Tournament," said Colwell. "Last year we got knocked out in the semifinals, and the two previous years we won the championship. Hopefully some of the seniors on the team will bring their experience from some of the previous years when we went to the NCAA and help get us back there."