Storm eliminate Central 2-0, advance to semifinals
INDIANOLA, Iowa - On a team which boasts four players with seven or more goals, Saturday's most important goal came off the foot of a player with only one during the regular season.
Ashley Krider scored the game-winner midway through the second half and third-seeded Simpson defended the home pitch, beating sixth-seeded Central 2-0 in the first round of the Iowa Conference Tournament.
The Storm (13-5-2) advance to the conference semifinals with the win, where they will face second-seeded and No. 9 Wartburg (15-1-2) on Wednesday, Nov. 2 in Waverly. Start time is to be announced.
"I thought we played our most complete game today," second-year head coach Ryan Sander said. "Our spacing was great, which opened up the passing lanes and made possessing the ball a lot easier."
Krider's second goal of the season came in the 61st minute of a scoreless contest. She beat her defender on the right and chipped a shot that tucked inside the far post.
"Our forwards played their best game to date," Sander said. "They had great runs, checked well and gave us a lot of energy up top. It was a complete team effort and I am very proud of the entire team today."
One of those runs came from Amber Johnson with under five minutes left in the contest. Johnson got lose on the right wing and fired a shot which deflected off the Central goalkeeper. Katherine Bird trailed the play and took advantage of the empty-netter for her eighth goal of the year.
Steph Hasken made nine saves for the Dutch (10-7-1), who were making their first appearance in the conference tournament since 2007.
Simpson outshot Central 20-5 on the afternoon and put 11 shots on goal to Central's three. Megan Petersen scooped up each of Central's attempts, turning in her third clean sheet of the season.
Notes: Saturday's win improved Simpson to 13-12-2 all-time in the Iowa Conference Tournament ... Simpson lost to Wednesday's opponent, Wartburg, 2-1 during the regular season ... the Storm are 3-1-1 against Wartburg in the IIAC Tournament.