No. 9 Mines Bucks Cowgirls To Reach Conference Championship
GOLDEN – NSCAA No. 9 Colorado School of Mines women's soccer needed only a set piece score to advance to its fourth straight RMAC Tournament final as the Orediggers defeated fourth-seeded New Mexico Highlands, 1-0, in the semifinals on Friday in Golden.
Unbeaten in its last seven conference postseason matches, three-time defending champion Mines (15-1-3) will meet No. 13 Metro State at 1 p.m. in Sunday's championship. The second-seeded Roadrunners (14-1-4) eliminated Regis, 3-0, in the second semifinal Friday.
Freshman Emily Garnier and junior Rachael Turner combined for the deciding tally in the 35th minute; Garnier lofted a left sideline free kick to center box where Turner deftly flicked on the mid-air look to the right webbing.
Turner closed with a game-high three shots on goal as the women outshot the Cowgirls (11-5-4) 11-9 and 8-2 in on-net attempts.
Junior Jayln Yates (15-1-3) overtook Metro State's Rachel Zollner (2005-07) and Mandy Allen (2002-05) for sole possession of the conference career shutouts record with her 37th in 64 starts – 12th-most in Division II history.
The two-time RMAC Goalkeeper of the Year had two saves on the nine shots faced in full time.
Prior to kickoff, Yates and senior Nicho Cusack were presented with the RMAC Goalkeeper and Defensive Player of the Year plaques, while Bulawa, Cusack and fellow seniors Kenzie King and Maddie Woodard collected the RMAC regular season trophy.