Women’s soccer clinches spot in Horizon League finals with dominant win

The Golden Grizzlies women’s soccer team, after playing an amazing regular season, continued to reach for the top as they secured a spot in the final Horizon League game of the year on Thursday.

Coming into the semi-finals matchup after securing a bye due to their regular season seeding, the Golden Grizzlies dominated the Norse using their stunningly dynamic offense and smothering defense. This win punched their ticket to the Horizon League championship game, where an undefeated [in conference play] Milwaukee team awaits. 

For the first 10 minutes of the game, the field was a hotbed of excitement and energy as hope buzzed through the air for both teams. Going full-throttle from the get-go, an early rhythm of back-and-forth offense and smothering defense was established. 

The Norse had a hard time creating offense as the first half wore on, failing where the Golden Grizzlies thrived. They couldn’t create any meaningful scoring opportunities, whereas the Golden Grizzlies made push after push into the goal. Eventually, after putting mounds of pressure onto the Norse goalie, the Grizzlies struck after settling a corner kick down for a score to make the score 1-0.

While it would only take 30 seconds following the goal for the Norse to create an opportunity to tie the game up, they failed to convert the shot due to the masterful defensive pressure put on display by the Grizzlies. Not a single Norse player nor shot attempt allowed room to breathe. 

As the failed drives piled up for the Norse, the Golden Grizzlies continued to find nothing but success on the offensive end. They secured a two point lead after scoring on an unmarked goal close to the net to push the score to 2-0. 

After a scarily efficient first half on both the offensive and defensive end of the ball where the Golden Grizzlies smothered their opponents and made the most of all their shots, the Norse came into the second half firing on all cylinders. They converted their first shot into a goal following a header out of a pileup near the goal, cutting the lead in half, making it 2-1.

The Golden Grizzlies matched the Norse shot for shot and score their third and final goal on the back of a longshot from outside the box that barely scraped the fingertips of the Norse goalie, increasing the lead back to two for the Golden Grizzlies. The Norse tried to respond and create dangerous scoring opportunities, but all their attempts were stuffed by the Grizzlies’ goalie. 

The Norse, feeling the pressure of the game, received back-to-back fouls, essentially sealing both their fate and the fate of the victors. Once the clock hit 90 minutes, the Golden Grizzlies celebrated as they punched their golden ticket to a date with destiny after never trailing in a dominant performance where they won 3-1. 

Now, only Milwaukee awaits them, ready to challenge them for the title of the best team in the Horizon League. That matchup will take place Saturday at 2 p.m.