CINCINNATI, OHIO – Just four days removed from an extra session nailbiter against Bluffton University of Ohio, Manchester University had to weather another Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference thriller Saturday, Oct. 26.
Firing off 14 shots at Mt. St. Joseph's net, it took until the 104th minute for the Spartans to claim their sixth straight win. The dynamic duo of sophomore forward Brandy Crouse (Cleves, Ohio) and junior forward Katelyn Barta (Griffith, Ind.) combined for the game winner, as Barta fed Crouse for her eighth assist, and Crouse fired it home for her ninth overall and second match-deciding strike.
Prior to the ending, MSJ goalkeeper Madison Freeman and rugged Lions defense kept the Black and Gold (10-6-1 overall, 6-1 HCAC) scoreless. Freeman repelled 12 chances. Junior Emily Willmann (Montpelier, Ind.), garnering her 20th career shutout, was under just as heavy a barrage on the other end with nine saves.
MU out-shot the Lions (4-12-1, 3-4 HCAC) 23-14. Crouse led the way with eight tries followed by Barta with five.
Manchester University, still trailing HCAC unbeaten Hanover by just one match in the loss column, returns to Spartan Field Wednesday, Oct. 30. They will duel with league rival Anderson University in a 3:30 p.m. kickoff.
NOTES: Crouse continued an impressive recent run with her sixth goal in the last seven matches … MU reached the 10-win mark for the first time since 2006.