Panthers fall to Evansville in MVC Semifinal, 1-0


The UNI women’s soccer team played Evansville in the semifinal round of the Missouri Valley Conference on Friday night. The sixth-seed Panthers (7-9-5 overall) lost to the second-seed Purple Aces (6-10-2 overall), 1-0.

The lone goal of the night came very early for the Purple Aces, as Colleen Dierkes scored just 2:33 into the match for the 1-0 lead.

Evansville had two chances to extend their lead just before the 25th minute, but Panther goalkeeper Whitney Blunt saved both shots. Blunt finished the first half with three saves.

Sarah McHugh attempted the first shot for the Panthers with just under 20 minutes left in the first half, but went wide left. The Panthers were outshot by the Purple Ace, 6-1.

The first minute of the second half tested the Panther defense. Two very early shots were blocked and cleared out by the Panthers. Evansville had two more quick chances just before the 50th minute. Blunt and the Panther defense came in clutch again to deny both attempts.

Right after the Blunt save, the Panthers came out attacking. They had three good chances to put points on the scoreboard, but none hit the back of the net for the equalizer. UNI would not get another shot attempt for the rest of the match.

Evansville made a chance of their own two minutes later, but Kayla Smith’s shot was hit by the crossbar.

Blunt recorded her sixth and last save of the match in the 73rd minute. Blunt finished the season with a career-high 97 total saves. There were no more shot attempts by either team as the game dwindled down to the 1-0 UNI loss.