Nov. 8, 2009
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A shot from Dayton's Jerica DeWolfe in the 87th minute separated the Flyers from a 1-1 tie with the Charlotte 49ers in the Atlantic 10 Women's Soccer Championship Final to lift Dayton to a 2-1 victory and their sixth A-10 title in program history. The Flyers rallied from a 1-0 deficit with two unanswered goals to defeat the two-time defending A-10 tournament champions, 49ers.
"Jerica strikes the ball better than anyone on our team and she had struggled lately and her time on the field had dwindled, but I kept telling her that her time will come," stated Dayton head coach Mike Tucker. "I took out our best player late in the game to insert DeWolfe and I told her to just rip one for us and she was able to come through big for our team."
The game was an epic battle between the two top teams in the Atlantic 10 with Dayton and Charlotte finishing one-two in regular season play with the two teams combining for 11 of the last 12 A-10 regular season crowns.
"This was a great game between two amazing teams and it turned into a hard-fought A-10 classic," stated Charlotte head coach John Cullen. "At the end of the day it took one fantastic shot to separate two great teams."
The 49ers held the shot advantage over the Flyers in the game, 19-14, but were unable to put away two last-second efforts from Megan Minnix and Sam Huecker. Minnix's shot careened off the crossbar and bounced outwards to Huecker whose shot sailed just over the crossbar as time expired giving Dayton the 2009 title.
Charlotte opened the scoring in the 19th minute with Kirby Stenard heading in an Oni Bernard cross near the goal line. Minnix delivered the ball to Bernard before the sophomore forward centered it to Stenard, who scored her 8th goal of the season on the play.
Dayton bounced back from the early goal by answering 67 seconds later from a Colleen Williams shot inside Charlotte's penalty area into the right corner. Mandi Back was credited with the assist as Williams picked up her 7th goal of the season.
The game took a dramatic turn when Charlotte was awarded a penalty kick after Bernard was tripped on a breakaway by Kelly Blumenschein in the 23rd minute. Niner midfielder Hailey Beam stepped up to take the kick, but missed the opportunity as her attempt went wide left off the goal.
Charlotte had another chance late in the second half, but the goal was disallowed due to a Charlotte player being in an offside position.
DeWolfe's decisive shot in the 87th minute kept Dayton's undefeated season intact and propelled the Flyers to an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Atlantic 10 Championship Most Outstanding Player
Cara Cornacchia, Dayton - MOP
Sydney Stoll - Massachusetts
Kelly Waeckerle - Saint Louis
Anna Cunningham - St. Bonaventure
Nicole Markert - St. Bonaventure
Katie McDermott - Fordham
Leah Loguidice - Fordham
India Winford - Charlotte
Oni Bernard - Charlotte
Kathleen Beljan - Dayton
Mandi Back - Dayton
Cara Cornacchia - Dayton