MSU soccer outright NSIC champs

MOORHEAD, Minn. – The No. 11 Minot State women’s soccer team only needed a tie Friday afternoon to capture the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference regular season championship outright.

The Beavers (14-1-1, 13-0-1 NSIC) did one better by defeating conference last-place Minnesota State Moorhead (3-13, 2-12 NSIC), 2-0, in Moorhead to seal the first regular season NSIC championship in school history.

The Beavers, as a result, will have home field advantage throughout the NSIC Tournament being held Nov. 2-6.

“Conference champions all by ourselves,” MSU coach Jason Spain said. “We took care of Friday, now take care of Sunday and then bring the conference tournament to Minot. That’s been one of our goals. Keep getting three (points) and bring the NCAA Tournament to Minot another one of our big goals.

“Everything is on the table for us, we just have to stay focused.”

Minot State, despite piling on the shots, were unable to break the scoreless deadlock with MSUM until five minutes left before halftime.

Senior Ninfa Ramirez popped in her 18th goal of the season, best in the NSIC, on a cross from fellow senior forward Chloe Melton. It was Melton’s 17th career assist an all-time Minot State record.

“We held (the ball) and we swung it around and around, as we tried to stretch them out and they did a good job of staying compact,” Spain said. “Their goalie made five or six saves that took balls out of the net. You got to tip your cap to her, she kept them in the game.”

MSUM goalkeeper Reagan VonBerge made 16 saves to keep the score respectable.

Ramirez, also leading the conference in points, added to her point total with an assist to senior Dalia Tapia in the second half (58:31). It was Tapia’s second goal of the season.

Ramirez is averaging 2.69 points per game, fifth best in Division II and she continues to add to her Beavers all-time points record (79).

Minot State outshot Minnesota State Moorhead, 34-6, and 18-3 on shots on target.

MSU senior goalkeeper Leila Torres played the full 90 minutes in net to earn her fourth win (4-0) and first shutout of the season.

The Beavers have one more home game on Sunday against Northern State (9-7, 7-7 NSIC) before postseason play begins. MSU will aim to finish the NSIC regular season undefeated before heading into the conference tournament next week.

Alex Eisen covers Minot High School, Minot State athletics and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @AEisen13.