October 24, 2010

Soccer qualifies for Big Sky tournament with a tie in Missoula

Box score | NC season stats

MISSOULA, Mont. -- The Northern Colorado women's soccer team advanced Sunday to this year's Big Sky Conference Tournament with a scoreless tie against the University of Montana.

The Bears (10-4-3, 3-1-2) entered the match against the Grizzlies with a chance of hosting the tournament with wins in their final two matches, but the tie was still good, pushing Northern Colorado into the postseason for the first time since 2007.

The match itself was a defensive showdown, with neither team getting very many chances to break the deadlock. Combined, the two squads mustered just eight shots on goals, with Northern Colorado getting five of them.

In the first half, Northern Colorado seemed to have more chances, outshooting the Grizzlies 9-5. The team also took four corner kick but could not push through for the score.

The second half was even more of a defensive struggle, with the Bears getting the only shot on goal in 45 minutes of action.

"We came out here to try and get a win," said Northern Colorado head coach Tim Barrera. "We wanted to try and get into a position to play Northern Arizona for a chance to host the Big Sky Tournament. Montana is a good team though, and even though we defended well, the result just didn't go our way."

Forward Ariel Cook seemed to be the most active on the offensive end for the Bears, taking seven shots with three of them being on target.

Northern Colorado goalkeeper Kirstin Salminen made three saves on the day, making it her second straight match without allowing a goal.

The Bears wrap up their regular season with a conference showdown on the road against Northern Arizona on at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29. The match could go a long way in determining seeding for the upcoming Big Sky Tournament and will undoubtedly be taken seriously by both teams.