CINCINNATI, Ohio - The Mount St. Joseph women's soccer team welcomed the No. 14 Hanover Panthers to Schueler Field on Wednesday night. The game featured the top two teams in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference standings, and an HCAC regular season championship was on the line. The Lions fell in double overtime, 2-1 in a game in which they dominated much of the action.
Both teams came into the game in great form, Hanover were winners of their last 14 games and were ranked #14 in the nation. The Mount has been unbeaten in their previous 11 matches and ranked in the top-5 in the Great Lakes Region.
The Lions dominated possession early in the game, maintaining the ball in Hanover's defensive side for much of the early going. The Lions outshot Hanover 11-1 in the first half, and earned 5 corner kicks to Hanover's 1. The Lions got the scoring underway in the game in the 22nd minute. Junior midfielder Paige Mersmann (Florence, Ky./Boone County) took a shot from near the top of the box and found the back of the net. The goal put the Lions in the drivers seat for the win, and a possible HCAC Championship.
The second half of the match was a much more balanced game, the Lions continued to posses and create chances early in the second half. Midway through the second half, Hanover turned up the pressure and began to show why they were the number 14 team in the nation. In the 75th minute the Panthers found their equalizer, as Maisyn Garland found the back of the net.
The Lions would be forced to go into overtime to try and secure coach Josh Hess's first HCAC Championship. During the first overtime period The Mount created a few premium goal scoring opportunities. Including two shots that were just inches away from going into the goal. The Lions outshot Hanover 4-0 in the first overtime period.
Just 47 seconds into the second overtime period, the Lions were penalized for a handball inside the box, giving Hanover a penalty kick. Brandi Brock drilled the shot from spot to secure the win and the HCAC regular season championship for the Panthers.
The Lions will take to the pitch for the final time in the regular season on Saturday. As they travel to Indianapolis, Indiana to take on the Grizzlies of Franklin College. There is still quite a bit on the line for the Lions in the game. A win or tie will secure a second place finish for the Lions and at least one home game in the HCAC playoffs. The game is scheduled for a 1:00 PM kickoff, tune into MSJsports.com for live game coverage.