Toledo, Ohio---Elizabeth Theaker's (Maumee/Maumee, Ohio) first half goal ended up being the game-winner as the No. 19 Express women's soccer team defeated Cincinnati State Technical and Community College 2-0 in the Region XII championship game.
Theaker juked a defender and lofted a 25-yard shot over Cincinnati State's Kelsie Lee at the 20:51 mark to give the Express an early lead.
That came after Jill Burkholder (Bryan) saw Lee stop a shot on goal and a penalty kick in the game's first 20 minutes.
With Cincinnati State pressing late in the game, Jessica Grindle(Northwood) took a pass from Haley Gasser(Northview/Sylvania) at the 85:15 mark and deposited it into the right corner of the net to seal the game.
Erika Brinkman (Kalida) started in goal for the Express and made five saves. She produced two shutouts in the tournament.
Lee stopped six shots for Cincinnati State, who finishes the season 11-7.
Grindle's goal was her 21st of the season, which ties the program mark for the second most goals in a single season (Kendra Eitniear, 2011). She was named the tournament MVP.
Theaker's goal was her third of the season, and she was selected to the all-tournament team.
Gasser's assist was her her 11th of the season. She increased her program record career total to 27.
Burkholder and Brinkman were also named to the all-tournament team.
The Express have now won 15 straight matches, which extends a program record. They also won their 17th game, which is the most any soccer program (men's or women's) has won at Owens.
With the win, the No. 19 Express (17-2) advance to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) D-I National Tournament in Melbourne, Fla. Nov. 18-23. The tournament, which features a pool play and championship round, will have the top 12 teams in the nation competing for a national title.
While Grindle was named the tournament MVP, other members of the Region XII All-Tournament team included: Megan Helpap (Delta), Destiny Wallace (Delta), Kelli McKay (Schoolcraft), Jessica Perry (Schoolcraft), Amber Boehm (Cincinnati State), Deandre Criddell (Cincinnati State), Jodi Offutt (Cincinnati State), Burkholder, Brinkman and Theaker.