TOLEDO, OH - Toledo (7-10-1, 5-4-1 MAC) entertains Northern Illinois on Thursday, Oct. 25 in its final regular-season match. The opening whistle is set for 3:00 p.m. from Scott Park.
UT has already secured a berth in the league tournament and will play a quarterfinal match this Sunday, Oct. 28. If the tourney started today, the reigning MAC Tournament champion Rockets would be the No. 6 seed and play at No. 3 seed Eastern Michigan (7-3-0 MAC, 21 pts.). This will be Toledo’s eighth consecutive appearance in post-season play and its 10th overall.
In further examination of the MAC standings, Miami (10-0-0 MAC) has wrapped up the regular-season championship and will be the top seed in the post-season tourney, while Central Michigan (8-2-0 MAC) and EMU have also secured home first-round home matches. Kent State (6-3-1 MAC) and Ball State (5-3-2 MAC) are fighting for the final home contest in the first round of MAC Tournament, followed by UT, Northern Illinois (3-5-2 MAC), Buffalo (3-5-1 MAC), Ohio (3-5-1 MAC), Western Michigan (1-4-4 MAC), Akron (1-8-1 MAC) and Bowling Green (0-9-1 MAC). The top eight squads qualify for the MAC post-season event and the winner receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.
UT split a pair of road matches last weekend, claiming a 2-1 victory vs. Ohio on Friday and suffering a 2-1 setback against Kent State two days later. Junior Rachel MacLeod tallied her first multi-goal effort of the season and fourth in her collegiate career to help the Midnight Blue & Gold register its sixth-straight triumph versus the Bobcats.
Offensively, reigning MAC Offensive Player of the Year MacLeod continues to lead UT’s attack with a team-high 12 points (five goals, two assists). The two-time all-league performer is supported offensively by senior Natalia Gaitan (eight pts., four goals) and senior Megan Blake (five pts., two goals with one assist).
As a team, UT is sixth in goals scored (19) and corner kicks (77), tied for eighth in total points (50), ninth in assists (12), and 10th in shots (201).
On the UT backline, senior Jaimie Morsillo, senior Megan Blake, sophomore Brooke Lawler, sophomore Kirsten Catloth and Gaitan have been a steady group since MAC play began, giving up one goal or less in seven of the 10 conference matches. The Rockets find themselves tied for seventh in in the league in shutouts (5) and 10th in goals allowed (23) and goals-against average (1.24).
Between the posts, sophomore Kelsey Borowitz (5-8-1 record) has a 1.39 GAA, while making 43 saves with three shutouts. Borowitz is 10th in the conference in GAA and tied for 10th in blankings.
Northern Illinois enters Thursday’s regular-season finale with a 7-8-2 overall record and a 3-5-2 mark in the MAC. The Huskies come off a weekend in which they registered a 1-0 win at KSU on Friday and suffered a 1-0 setback at Ohio on Sunday. They are led offensively by Cori Frankenberg with 12 points (four goals with four assists). In goal, Amy Carr has played all but 57 minutes and ranks tied for third in the MAC in shutouts (6), fourth in GAA (0.88) and ninth in save percentage (.773) and saves (51). As a team, NIU is tied for second in the MAC in goals allowed (16), third in GAA (0.91) and corner kicks (80), tied for third in shutouts (6), tied for sixth in assists (15), seventh in total points (51), tied for seventh in goals scored (18) and 11th in shots (199). Toledo leads the all-time series with Northern Illinois, 11-4-2, and is unbeaten in the last 10 matchups (8-0-2) between the division rivals. UT has also won seven straight contests against NIU at home. Last fall, Toledo‘s Nicole Gyurgyik tallied the "Golden Goal" in the 97th minute to lift the Midnight Blue & Gold team to a 1-0 road triumph.