The Minot State University women's soccer program didn't need much time to transition to Division II.
The Beavers made sophomore forward Zoe Fisher's 11th goal of the year hold up Sunday. Fourth-seeded MSU edged No. 2 seed Winona State 1-0 in Mankato, Minn., to win the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference tournament in its first year as a member.
The victory earns the Beavers an automatic bid into the NCAA Central Region tournament. It was a win MSU coach Jason Spain anticipated all season.
"Our goal's been to win the conference championship from day one," Spain said. "We haven't wavered on it."
Much like Friday's semifinal against Minnesota State-Mankato, the Beavers (15-3-3) were outshot handily by the Warriors, 19-4. But Winona State (16-5) had trouble targeting the net, putting just three shots on target.
In the game's 68th minute, MSU got its chance to score and capitalized. Sophomore midfielder Emilie Rebelo cleared the ball to junior forward Jamie MacFarlane. MacFarlane got to the edge and found Fisher, who had separated from defenders. Fisher then put her only shot of the match past Winona State goalkeeper Alexandra Vial.
"(MacFarlane) came outside and made a great run outside the line," Fisher said. "I just went bottom left corner."
Fisher was named the tournament's most valuable player. Senior goalkeeper Marie Torres and senior midfielders Lexy Kidd and Tara McPartland joined her on the all-tournament team.
"This is the reason why I came over here (from England)," Fisher said. "This is why I came over. It's my first-ever ring."
The NCAA Central Region tournament pairings will be announced today at 6:30 p.m.
A viewing party will be held starting at 6 p.m. at the Beaver Dam.