To some observers, the most exciting game of the Mines women’s soccer team’s seventh season was one in which no goals were scored. A 17-2-4 season ended on November 18, 2011, with a penalty shootout 2-4 loss to the two-time defending champion, Grand Valley State. Still, the game is considered a shutout for the Oredigger women, who had also kept their four previous opponents from scoring and won their last nine games. GVSU had not been shut out in two years.
By the final game, the team of 22 women had climbed from no ranking to #8 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America / Continental Tire NCAA Division II Women’s National Poll. Its final ranking is #5 in the country. Megan Woodworth scored 12 goals this season and tallied 14 assists to become the first NSCAA First Team All-American in program history. Her 3.92 GPA also earned her First Team Academic All-American honors.
Teammate Penny Rogers overcame injury to complete her career with Mines having never lost a game in goal, and was named RMAC Tournament MVP. Anna Evans led the team with 13 goals, earning First Team All-RMAC and All-Region honors. Kelsey Neal helped anchor a defense that posted 12 shutouts as she was named All-American.
Erin Onat notched the game-winner in the 99th minute in the second round of the NCAA Tournament against Minnesota State. Alison ‘Moose’ Oien’s only goal of the season gave Mines the RMAC Tournament Championship.
Along with Neal, the team’s defense of Aubrey Bagley, Jordan Hopper, and Nicho Cusack, who played nearly every minute of every game, was all but impenetrable, shutting out the then #1-ranked Grand Valley State for the first time in 50 games. And in just his second season at Mines, head coach Kevin Fickes was named the 2011 NSCAA / Mondo Central Region Coach of the Year in early December.
Among its list of team accomplishments are the RMAC Tournament Championship, #1 seed in the Central Region Tournament, the Central Region Title, playing in the NCAA Elite Eight, and nine straight weeks in the top 25. The Mines women held their own in the classroom, too: A cumulative team GPA of 3.24 earned them another NSCAA All-Academic Team Award. Other individual honors included four All-RMAC selections, five All-Region selections, and seven Academic All-RMAC selections.
Check out a video of scoring highlights of the women’s soccer 2011 season.