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October 29, 2009

2009 Season - Win over North Central clinches CCIW title

Head coach Scott Mejia might not have thought much about the esthetic look of his team’s 1-0 victory at North Central on Tuesday, October 28, but it was a thing of beauty in so many ways. The win clinched at least a share of the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin title, the first in Augustana history in women’s soccer, for the Vikings.

Senior Katie Oakes (Wheaton North HS, Wheaton, Ill.) put Augustana on the board with the game less than three minutes old (2:16) when she scored on an unassisted goal. It was her fifth of the season and the 29th of her illustrious career.

That goal would hold up although the Vikings had plenty of chances to add to their lead. They would end the match with a 24-3 advantage in shots taken, including an impressive 10 shots-on-goal. North Central goalkeeper Elise Manzie recorded nine saves to keep the Cardinals in the game. Augustana outshot North Central 13-2 in the first period and 11-1 in the second 45 minute session.

Viking goalkeeper Kayla Radloff (West Chicago HS, West Chicago, Ill.) had one save as she recorded her 10th shutout of the 2009 campaign. Radloff is 14-1-1 individually and has a 0.50 goals-against-average for the year.

Augustana, ranked sixth in NCAA Division III, is now 15-1-1 overall and 6-0 in the CCIW with one match remaining. The Vikings will play Elmhurst at home on Saturday, October 31 at 1:00 p.m. at Ericson Field. It will be the final regular season home match for six seniors: Oakes, Amanda Bucci (Glenbard North HS, Carol Stream, Ill.), Lauren Polock (Wheaton North HS, Wheaton, Ill.), Anna Carey (Wheaton Warrenville South HS, Warrenville, Ill.), Darla Smith (Davenport North HS, Davenport, Iowa) and Deanna Recchia (Glenbard North HS, Bloomingdale, Ill.). Those seniors have helped carve out an overall record of 43-11-4 during their careers at Augustana.

The victory over North Central allowed the 2009 team to tie the school record for victories in a single season. That matches the 15 win total put up by three other units down through the years: 15-4-1 in 2005, 15-3-3 in 2006 and 15-4-0 in 2008. A win over Elmhurst on Saturday will give the 2009 Vikings that record all by themselves.

Prior to clinching the title with the win at North Central, the highest finish for Augustana in women’s soccer in the CCIW had been runner-up spots in 2006 and 2008.