The newly minted number two ranked Delta Lady Pioneers had a long bus ride to New Jersey before taking on Middlesex County College.
"This is a great honor to be ranked as the #2 team in the nation by the NJCAA ranking committee that oversees all of us," Head Coach Paul Stenglein said about the #2 ranking. "We truly believe that this is an accurate reflection of how we have been playing this year."
The bus ride did seem to have an effect on Delta early, as it was Middlesex who got on the board within the first five minutes after a goal from Naytasha Spuriel. As they've done so many times this year during their run, they did not let this early goal get them down. Ten minutes later, Lindsey Musser sent a great through ball to Skylar Eckert who tied the game at 1 after she sent the shot into the back of the net. For Eckert, it was her team leading, fifteenth goal of her phenomenal freshman campaign.
Later in the first half, Delta would jump into the lead for the first time of the afternoon in the thirty-fifth minute, when Meghan Brasseur scored her first career collegiate goal after the second assist of the game from Musser. The goal for Brasseur was especially sweet, as she missed nine games due to injury and this was just her first game back on the field. Delta lead going into the half and they aimed to make adjustments to ensure that they picked up this crucial road win to make it a happy bus ride back to Michigan.
Twenty minutes into the second half it was Eckert sending a nice pass to a wide open Kaitlyn Viaene who drove a hard shot past the keeper giving the Lady Pioneers a much needed insurance goal, and a 3-1 lead. Great defense in the second half helped Delta as they secured the 3-1 win, and a spot in the next round of the tournament.
"I was extremely proud of these girls as they had a long trip to New Jersey, and about 12 hours later they were on the field battling in a critical regional semi-final game," Stenglein added after the game. "We learned a lot from this game, and we will be even stronger as we make adjustments for our next game against Union CC on October twenty-eighth."
After the game, Goalie Kalyn Breckenridge was named the Player of the Week for the third time in the last four weeks. "This is an outstanding honor, and it was the third time in four weeks that Kalyn has received the prestigious honor of being National Keeper of the Week," Stenglein said about Kalyn Breckenridge. "She has led the MCCAA league and Region 12 in most all of the keeper statistics this fall. She is having a great year, and looks forward to an even a better post season level of play." The defensive trio of Delaney Gravlin, Brianna Redmond and Hannah Rousse along with the play of her sister, Kyla Breckenridge have been integral in the success of Kalyn this season.
Delta will take on Union County College on October 28 at 5pm for a spot in the National Tournament.