Duhawks win IIAC Tournament title
PHOTO COURTESY: Jim Naprstek, jimnaprstek.com
PHOTO COURTESY: Jim Naprstek, jimnaprstek.com
Sat, Nov. 5, 2011 - [Women's Soccer]

Loras 2, Wartburg 1


The Loras College Duhawks won their second consecutive Iowa Conference Tournament title on Saturday night in the Rock Bowl, defeating the Wartburg 2-1. After a scoreless opening 45 minutes, the Duhawks earned two goals in the first 11 minutes of the second half to take a 2-0 lead. The Knights cut the lead in half six minutes later, but were unable to equalize.


After a quick start by the Duhawks that saw Loras take five shots in the opening 20 minutes, the pace slowed a bit as the chess match between the Duhawks and Knights wore on. Substitutes and starters for both teams combined to take 11 shots, with the host Duhawks holding an 8-3 advantage. Monica Noti made three first half saves for Wartburg to Katie Chambers' one.


The second 45 minute provided all of the goals on Saturday night, starting with senior Jessica Kern's seventh tally of the season.


Duhawk senior forward Kate Young drew a foul at the top of the Wartburg penalty box and Kern made her way to the penalty spot. Noti's diving attempt was not the same direction as Kern's shot, and the Duhawks took a 1-0 lead on the Elmhurst, Illinois native' second penalty kick of the season.


Seven minutes later, Ali Schmitt took a free kick from in front of Loras' bench and found Danielle Vujovic – another Elmhurst, Illinois native – who headed home the game's second goal to put the Duhawks in the driver's seat at 2-0.


The two-goal lead only lasted six minutes, however, as the Knights made their way in front of Chambers and cut the lead in half. Katy Wendt was near the top of the six yard box in traffic when a loose ball landed in front of her. Wendt scored her eighth goal of the year – and second in the Rock Bowl this year – in the 63rdminute.


The visitors would earn two more shots and one more corner kick, but Loras' defense held the Knights to just the one goal to claim their second consecutive Iowa Conference Tournament title in the Rock Bowl over Wartburg.


With the win, the Duhawks earn the Iowa Conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championships, which begin next weekend. The brackets are set to be released on Monday over the noon hour on ncaa.com.