The CMU Blazers are the 2018 MCAC Women’s Soccer Champions

The Blazers defeated the top-ranked defending champion Brandon Bobcats 2-0 in Sunday’s final.

After an extended Final Four game against the PUC Pilots on Saturday, the Blazers were able to continue the magic and defeat the two-time defending champion BU Bobcats to win their first MCAC women’s soccer title since 2009.

The Blazers took the championship final 2-0 against the top-ranked Bobcats at the Ralph Cantafio Soccer Complex this Sunday.

“It was a tough weekend,” said Blazers co-head coach Lianna Bestvater. “We powered through and came out today…you couldn’t even tell they had played yesterday.”

Before reaching the finals, the Pilots took the Blazers through extra time to penalty kicks in their Final Four matchup where CMU’s goalkeeper Lydia Balsillie came up big time.

 

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Blazers goalkeeper Lydia Balsillie makes an outstretched save over her teammate Naomi Klassen, who happened to score the Blazers lone goal on a header in Saturday’s Final Four. The Blazers and Pilots were locked at 1-1 after extra time and the game was settled in kicks (CMU 5-4). Photo by: Douglas Portz Photography.  

“We don’t win yesterday if she didn’t make three or four of those saves,” said Blazers co-head coach Cara Isaak.

“We made three or four goal line stands, our keeper stood on her head, and we had a few players clear stuff off the goal line,” Isaak continued. “Our effort pulled us through both games.”

After defeating the Pilots 5-4 in penalty kicks, the Blazers had to turn their attention to the BU Bobcats who owned the MCAC’s best regular season record at 5-4-1

The final remained scoreless until minutes before halftime where Blazers midfielder Susanna Derksen was able to drive home a rebound from teammate Naomi Klassen’s shot.

All-Conference striker Camille Plett put a cap on the game in the 72nd minute by heading in an another rebound that came straight off the Bobcats crossbar.

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Blazers All-Conference midfielder Camille Plett heads in the game-sealing goal in the Blazers 2-0 championship win over the Bobcats. Photo by: Douglas Portz Photography.  

“It’s surreal,” said Blazers keeper and tournament MVP Lydia Balsilli. “We’ve been so close so many times and to finally have it is so incredible.”

Following the women’s celebration, Blazer’s men’s team followed suit and helped CMU became the first school to win both men’s and women’s MCAC soccer championships since Providence in 2013.

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Photo by: Douglas Portz Photography.  

 

 

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