NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – A hard-nosed defensive first half kept Manchester University neck-and-neck with in-state NCAA Division III non-conference rival Trine University Monday, Sept. 10.
The Spartans, opening a span of three matches against Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association competition in five days, kept the visiting Thunder's offense at bay throughout a good share of the first 45 minutes at Good Field. TU did find the back of the home net in the 21st minute, but that was it, as halftime arrived with just a one-goal deficit.
While senior goalkeeper Caroline Smith (Mason, Ohio), managed a fourth successive and 11th career double-digit save outing, knocking away 12 Trine attempts at the frame, the visiting side caught fire early in the second stanza with two goals and an own goal mark to open up a 4-0 advantage. The Black and Gold offense fired off seven shot attempts with senior midfielder/forward Maranda Birmingham (Kouts, Ind.) leading the attack with three and one forcing a save from Thunder netminder Jessalyn Friederick but couldn't stop the visiting clean sheet in a 4-0 defeat.
MU (0-4) continues its home schedule Wednesday, Sept. 12, as Albion College takes a southern trek for a 4 p.m. kickoff.