MANKATO, Minn. -- The Augustana women’s soccer (16-4-1) team fought through frigid air and sub-freezing temperatures on Friday afternoon when it defeated the Central Oklahoma Bronchos (14-5-3) 2-1 in the first round of the Central Region bracket of the NCAA Tournament.
After a defensive battle for most of the first half, Augustana got on the scoreboard in the 38th minute. Sophomore forward Kenzie Geiger kicked a perfectly placed shot past the diving Central Oklahoma goalkeeper to give the Vikings a 1-0 lead. It was Geiger’s third goal of the season.
After the half, the Bronchos started to put pressure on the Vikings and nearly tied the game in the 47th minute. Sophomore goalkeeper Claudia Pueschner preserved the lead with an incredible two-save sequence. Puschner dove to her left to stop a Bronchos shot and after a second-chance opportunity, leapt in the air and tipped the ball just before it could cross the goal line.
The Bronchos tied the game in the 71st minute when Central Oklahoma’s Haley Post sent a cross pass from teammate Brooke Moore to the back of the Augustana net.
With the score knotted up at 1-1, sophomore forward Alexis Legg beat the Central Oklahoma goalkeeper in a foot race to the ball and distributed it to the back of the Bronchos net to give Augustana a 2-1 lead. Legg cashed in on her third goal of the season and is now tied for the team lead in game-winning goals with three.
Pueschner made 10 saves in the win and the Vikings are going to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the third time in school history and second time in the last three seasons.
The Vikings take on the No.1 seed, and host of the NCAA Central Region Tournament, Minnesota State Mavericks, for the third time this season, on Sunday at 1 p.m. in Mankato, Minnesota.