Southwest Minnesota State shocks Minn. State-Mankato in second round
MANKATO, Minn. -- Southwest Minnesota State picked the right game to defeat Minnesota State-Mankato for the first time in program history -- in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Morgan Weyer-Coates' goal in the 83rd minute gave fifth-seeded SMSU a 2-1 victory against top-seed Minnesota State.
The 2-1 win snapped MSU's 36-game home winning streak -- a streak that tied for the 12th longest in NCAA Division II history. SMSU, which beat its first ranked opponent in program history on Friday with a 3-1 win against Central Missouri, now has back-to-back victories against NSCAA top 25 teams.
SMSU will advance to the Central Region championship game and will play Minnesota-Duluth on Friday at a site yet to be determined. SMSU defeated UMD 3-0 earlier this season at The Schwan Regional Event Center in Marshall.
The Mustangs struck first in the 13th minute when Vanesa Corona knocked in a shot from point-blank range. Naomi Peterson played Megan Kilroy's corner kick and centered a pass that found Corona right in front of the net and she did the rest – beating Molly McGough to put SMSU up 1-0. The goal was Corona's sixth of the season and second of the tournament and SMSU's first goal scored against Minnesota State since Sept. 22, 2002, when SMSU lost 6-1 in Marshall.
SMSU went on the defensive in the second half and managed to hold MSU scoreless until the 70th minute when Kina Nickel scored her seventh goal of the season to pull things even.
Weyer-Coates, who came off the bench, found an opening from 22 yards out and got off a shot that clanked off the left goal post and deflected back and just inside the left goal post. The unassisted goal came in the 83rd minute and proved to be the game winner after SMSU shutdown MSU in the remaining 7:22.
SMSU was outshot 27-7 in the game, including 17-5 in the second half. Brienna Dehkes made 13 saves, while MSU's Molly McGough had two.
SMSU is now 2-0 in its first two NCAA tournament games.