Tribunes punch ticket to nationals

MCC Women's Soccer

PALOS HILLS, Illinois - Thenia Zervas and Roosa Ariyo scored goals, Meryl Wakefield stopped five shots, and the MCC women's soccer team punched its ticket to the NJCAA Division I national tournament with a 2-1 win over Moraine Valley CC in the North Central District title game Saturday.

The Tribunes (14-4-0) now await seeding for nationals, which will be held Nov. 12-17 in Foley, Ala.  Monroe will be in search of its ninth national championship.

Zervas got MCC on the board in the 21st minute. The lead doubled in the 28th, when Ariyo notched her nation-leading 52nd goal of the season. Zervas assisted on the play for her 36th helper, which also leads the country.

The Cyclones (19-1-1) regained some momentum just before the half, scoring with a few seconds remaining to make it a one-goal lead heading to the break.

Moraine Valley mounted some pressure over the final 45 minutes, but couldn't break through for the equalizer. Wakefield and the rest of the Tribune defense was up to the task, including thwarting a corner opportunity by Moraine Valley in the final seconds.