Nebraska-Omaha 2, Grand Valley State
Nebraska-Omaha 2, Grand Valley State 0Nov. 20, 2005
Freshman Amanda Iwansky scored her nation-leading fifth and sixth goals of the NCAA tournament and the defense shut out the sixth highest scoring offense in the country as Nebraska-Omaha defeated Grand Valley State 2-0 Sunday afternoon at the Soccer Field at Ak-Sar-Ben to advance20 to their fourth straight final four.. The No. 7 Mavericks, two wins from their first national championship, will face No. 4 Franklin Pierce December 1 in a national semifinal in Wichita Falls, Texas.
The offense stepped up early when sophomore forward Brandie Beale stole the ball from a defender just outside the box and fed it to Iwansky. The North Central Conference freshman of the year took a few steps through the box and fired it from the left side over the right side of GVSU goalkeeper Kristina Nasturzio at the 2:59 mark. Beale earned her team-leading 10th assist. Nasturzio, a freshman, was second in the NCAA II in goals against average with a 0.29 mark and first with a .918 save percentage.
After UNO (18-2-0) got on the board early, the defense took control, keeping freshman Katy Tafler, the nation's eighth highest scorer this season, to just one shot and giving the Maverick offense numerous scoring chances. Overall, the Mavs allowed the Lakers seven shots and just two on goal. Seniors Amy Price, Meghan Pile and Becca Fritz all played their final home game of their career. The defensive trio has combined for 49 shutouts and the Mavs have allowed just 0.67 goals per game in the four years that they have been on the roster.
With a one-goal lead at halftime, the Mavericks did not let up the intensity in the second half. UNO earned a free kick on a foul in the 51st minute. Junior midfielder Amber Richardson set the ball up 30 yards out and lined a shot over the defense, off Iwansky's head and into the goal. The goal for Iwansky gave her 15 for the year, making her UNO's second highest scoring freshman behind Katie Hobbs' 20 back-of-the-net-finders in 1999. Iwansky also moved into second on the team in scoring with 34 points.
The Lakers (19-3-0) were able to apply some pressure in the second half, but most of their attacks were thwarted as they were whistled for 10 offsides calls. They did take six corner kicks in the second half, but the Mavericks fought everyone of them off, including three straight with six minutes remaining in the game.
UNO and Franklin Pierce met in the 2002 semifinal with UNO advancing on a 3-1 win. The Ravens improved to 19-2-1 with a 2-1 win over West Chester Saturday. The winner will play the Seattle Pacific/Carson-Newman winner December 3 for the national championship. The Mavericks finished second in 2002 and third in 2003 and 2004.
-- Courtesy Nebraska-Omaha