Second-ranked Lady Pioneers extend postseason play to NJCAA National Tournament

By Adam Przeslak, sports editor.

The Lady Pioneers have won their first two postseason matchups to earn them the Region XIX Championship. Delta’s first opponent of the postseason was the Middlesex County College Blue Colts of New Jersey.

The team traveled to New Jersey to play Middlesex Saturday, Oct. 21. A Blue Colt goal from Naytasha Spuriel put Delta down by one point early in the game. However, Spuriel’s goal remained the only goal scored by Middlesex all game. An early deficit wouldn’t impact the Lady Pioneer’s determination.

Delta freshman Skylar Eckert scored her 15th goal of the season as she put one in the net nearly 13 minutes after Spuriel. After Eckert’s game-tying goal it was sophomore Meghan Brasseur who would put up the next score. This was the midfielder’s first goal of the season and her first collegiate goal.

At the half Delta was up 2-1 and their lead only grew throughout the second half as freshman and Bay City native Kaitlyn Viaene racked up her third goal of the season. Viaene’s goal came at the 65-minute mark and would cement the Lady Pioneer’s 3-1 victory over Middlesex.

A week later on Oct. 28 Delta took on the Union County College Owls in the Region XIX championship game. The game had a lot on the line as the winner would earn a birth into the NJCAA Division III national tournament.

It was a low-scoring, high-intensity game with Delta eventually coming out on top but only after some heart-racing moments. Early in the first half a penalty kick was awarded to the Owls, and all eyes were on Pioneer goalkeeper Kalyn Breckenridge. Breckenridge would prevent both the penalty kick and any other Owl offensive attempts in the game, though. She remained perfect throughout the contest allowing the Pioneer to take the offensive without the stress of a deficit.

Neither team would score until nearly the 87-minute mark when Eckert rocketed one in on a pass from freshman Hope Emington. Eckert’s goal won it for the Delta squad with a final score of 1-0 to crown them Region XIX champions.

Next up for the Lady Pioneers is the DIII National Tournament Thursday, Nov. 9, where they will take on fifth-seeded Madison College of Wisconsin. Delta enters the tournament ranked second in the nation but seeded fourth in the tournament. Should Delta win that game they will advance to the semi-finals that take place the next day, Friday, Nov. 10. The championship match will take place Sunday, Nov. 12.

Look for updated coverage of the Lady Pioneer’s national tournament play on the Collegiate’s website, deltacollegiate.com. and my Twitter account, @DCAdamPrzeslak.

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