A fast start in the second half allowed Marian University women’s soccer (8-8-0, 4-4-0 NACC) to defeat Benedictine 3-2 from Smith Field as MU continues their push for a NACC Tournament berth.
The Sabres opened fast when the MU offense was able to cause a clutter in the middle of the box in the ninth minute. Freshman Charity Hertel eventually ended up with the ball and fired inside the left post for her second goal of the year to put Marian ahead 1-0. The Eagles would have an equalizer late in the first half off of a throw in to send the teams into the break knotted at 1-1.
Marian held an early 9-7 lead in shots after the first half. The Sabres once again had a quick start to open the second half as senior Jessica Retzlaff headed in a goal off of a corner kick just 3:04 into the second half. Junior Karissa Preston sent the ball perfectly into the box for the assist as MU retook the lead at 2-1.
A little over 10 minutes later, another corner kick from Preston caused chaos in the box but this time it was freshman Shannon Coughlin who deflected a shot from junior Alexis Peterson for her eighth goal of the game.
Benedictine would not go away quietly, however, as they were able to force a penalty kick that found the back of the net to cut the deficit to one in the 84th minute. The Sabre defense would hold off the Eagle charge the rest of the way sealing the 3-2 win.
The Eagles held a slim 16-15 advantage in shots with Peterson and Coughlin leading MU with four apiece. Junior Danielle Deltgen (6-4-0) made five saves as she continued her hot play of late.
Marian now leads Concordia Chicago by half a game and holds the tiebreaker over the Cougars with the Sabres having two NACC games remaining and CUC just one. The Sabres will next travel to Alverno Monday, Oct. 23 for a 3:30 p.m. start.