OVU women’s soccer team takes national stage

Fighting Scots face Ashland today

Photo Provided by OVU Athletics The Ohio Valley women’s soccer team won the Great Midwest Athletic Conference championship and earned an automatic bid into the national tournament.

VIENNA — The Ohio Valley University women’s soccer team is going to the NCAA DII Tournament for the second consecutive season.

The women’s program was selected in the Midwest Region as the No. 2 seed and will travel to Big Rapids, Mich. to take on No. 7 Ashland University, with kickoff scheduled for 11 am. today.

OVU enters the national tournament coming off its second straight Great Midwest Athletic Conference Championship. The Scots currently have a record of 16-2-3 on the season. The Scots also currently have a six-game winning streak.

The Fighting Scots have scored 51 goals and counting on the season, while only allowing 11 goals against in 21 games. OVU is currently averaging 2.43 goals per game offensively. The defense is only allowing 0.52 goals per game.

Fernanda Araya, Paula Valbuena, and Konstantina Giannou lead the Fighting Scots high scoring offense. Araya has taken over the Great Midwest Athletic Conference in just seventeen games played, she currently leads the conference in goals (16), and points (38). Araya ranks second in shots (90), game-winning goals (4), and third in assists (6) in the conference standings.

Paula Valbuena has been able to find the back of the net 11 times this year while also recording a team-high seven assists. Valbuena finds herself in the top of the conference ranks in offensive statistics as well. Valbuena leads the conference with shots on the year with 114 opportunities and currently ranks second in assists with seven. Valbuena has secured her place in Fighting Scots history due to her 16 career assists is the most in program history.

Konstantina Giannou, the 2017 Great Midwest Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year, has once again been at the top of the Fighting Scots offensive statistics. Giannou has seven goals and six assists during the 2018 season. Giannou now finds herself at the top of the career goals and points list in women’s soccer history at Ohio Valley, with 24 goals and 60 points in her career.

As a team the Fighting Scots have outshot opponents 190-85 on the year, with OVU averaging 20.0 shots per game, doubling their opponents on the season.

Defensively, Ohio Valley will lean on Kimberly Mora to continue her shutout streak. Mora has recorded a shutout in two straight games and has only allowed one goal in the past six Fighting Scots victories. Mora who is on pace to break her previous season record of 0.67 goals allowed per game, is currently only allowing 0.50 goals per game in 2018.

Ashland comes into the matchup with a record of 10-4-5 on the season. The Eagles were defeated in the GLIAC Semifinal Round against the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region, Grand Valley State. The Eagles have scored thirty-four goals in nineteen games played for 1.79 goals per game average. Ashland is currently only allowing 0.81 goals allowed per game.

The winner of today’s contest will advance to take on the winner of No. 3 Ferris State and No. 6 McKendree. The next round would take place Saturday in Grand Rapids, Mich.