Women's Soccer 2014 IIAC Champions
Oct 29, 2014
DUBUQUE, Iowa - The University of Dubuque women's soccer team has been waiting for this moment for 14 years. Tuesday night, Head Coach Jason Berna earned what he has been wanting since he started the soccer programs at UD, an IIAC Title. In an exciting 2-1 game over the Luther College Norse, the Spartans claimed the #1 seed in the IIAC Tournament by conquering the first IIAC title in Spartans history. The Spartans captured an IIAC Tournament Title in 2009, but an IIAC title has eluded them until tonight.
The Spartans scored first and jumped to an early 1-0 lead just 9:38 in the opening half of action after a goal by Kelsey Graefen and an assist by Lauren Waddell. UD added a second goal to stretch their lead to 2-0 at 85:07 after Brianna Burkart snuck one past the keeper. Luther responded a minute later to cut the late lead to just a goal at 86:09. A late flurry by the Norse kept everyone on their edge of the seat as the last few seconds ticked off the clock with the Spartans winning a close 2-1 match.
Tiffany Duncan battled through a stoppage of play early in the game after a hard collision near the net to capture the victory after stopping six Norse shots on goal. Luther out shot the Spartans 14-6, but UD made the most of their six shots by scoring twice and finishing with three shots on goal. Fouls were pretty even with the Norse edging out the Spartans 9-7 and the Norse also held the advantage in corner kicks 6-4.
UD improved to 15-4 overall and finished 6-1 in IIAC play, losing to just Central College in league play by a score of 0-1 after giving up a late goal in Pella on Oct. 11. The Spartans began the conference season with 3-0 victory over Buena Vista University in Storm Lake. UD captured a stellar double overtime thriller over the Loras College Duhawks 3-2 in the Rock Bowl. The Spartans continued to march through the league with a 5-0 thrashing of Coe College before the loss to Central. UD bounced back by winning at Wartburg 1-0 in overtime in front of a hostile Wartburg Homecoming crowd. The Spartans hosted Simpson College on Oct. 25 cruising to a 3-1 win which helped set-up an exciting finish Tuesday night against Luther for the conference title.
Distant are the memories of finding a place to play for first year coach Jason Berna. Fortunately across the city was the Dubuque Soccer Complex which provided the space to play for the young coach. Early in the 2000's UD installed a field on campus, fund raised for lights and years later built a pressbox, and in the summer of 2014 UD installed artficial turf to once again improve the facilities for the student-athletes. Build it and they have come, come from around the tri-states to accomplish the dream and vision put in place over a decade ago. The hundreds of student-athletes who have cycled through the Spartan soccer program have all contributed to what was accomplished on Oct. 28, 2014.
The #1-seeded Spartans begin IIAC Tournament play on Tuesday night, Nov. 4 on Oyen Field.