Delta Scores Late, Earns Hard Fought 1-0 win for the Regional Championship

Skylar Eckert trying to gain possession against Muskegon. 8/30
Skylar Eckert trying to gain possession against Muskegon. 8/30

With impending weather in the forecast for the originally scheduled game time on Sunday, the game was moved up to Saturday to ensure that the game would be played in its entirety. For only the second time all season, Delta would have to tackle the turf, putting them at a slight disadvantage, but would not deter them in their quest to qualify for the National Tournament.

Early in the game the pressure was applied by Delta to score fast, but that did not happen, and the first quality scoring opportunity went to the Owls of Union CC, when they were awarded a Penalty Kick after two players collided in the goal area in the fifteenth minute. Three time player of the week Kalyn Breckenridge calmly saved the PK, keeping the game deadlocked at 0. The score at the half remained 0-0, but it was evident that the depth of the Lady Pioneers was starting to become a factor.

"This was a great hard fought game by both teams, and the continual pressure of fresh legs rotating into the game, was too much for Union CC to handle," Head Coach Paul Stenglein said. "The PK save by Kalyn Breckenridge in the first half was so huge.  It kept the game tied at zero, and that was ultimately the advantage that would allow us to win the game."

In the second half, the time of possession was controlled mostly by Delta, but continued to be turned away thanks to great play from the backline defense and goal keeper for the Owls. The Lady Pioneers would finally breakthrough in the eighty-seventh minute, when Skylar Eckert received a pass from Hope Emington, and hit a low line drive past the keeper into the far side of the net, breaking the scoreless draw. Delta would go on to win by the final of 1-0 and Eckert would be named MVP of the tournament with her two goals in two games. Heading into the National Tournament next weekend, Eckert has 16 goals on the season and is looking to continue to build on that.

"In the second half, when Union was getting tired, we continued to apply great offensive pressure, and we had some great scoring opportunities," Stenglein added after the win. "When Hope found Skylar open in the box, I just knew she was going to get a great shot off.  It was a perfect shot to the far post side net, and I knew our dream of reaching the National Tournament was now reality."

Next up for the Lady Pioneers is a trip to the National Tournament in Dryden, New York taking place on November 9-12.