Minnesota State gears up for NCAA Tournament

The Mavericks are making their 10th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance after clinching the NSIC Championship
Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 9:40 PM CST
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — The Minnesota State Mavericks women’s soccer team is playing some of its best soccer at the right time. The Mavericks are making their 10th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance after clinching another NSIC Tournament title.

”This has been an interesting team this year, they’ve continued to develop and grow together throughout the entire season. For it all to come together over the weekend, like it did, I’m just really proud of them,” head coach Brian Bahl said.

MSU made a deep run in its last trip to the big tournament.

The Mavericks finished in the Elite Eight after a 5-2 defeat to Grand Valley State, who would go on to become national champions. This season, the Mavs are once again giving opposing teams fits with a relentless attack that dominates the time of possession.

The success in 2021 didn’t come without its ups and downs, but MSU made the correct adjustments on the pitch when the team wasn’t in-form. A narrow 1-0 victory against the University of Mary in the conference quarterfinals tested the Mavs, but the team’s response in the final two games of the NSIC Tournament is just what head coach Brian Bahl was looking for heading into the NCAA Tournament.

“To get some production from some younger and other players outside of Jenny [Vetter] is a really good thing for our team. Jenny does a ton for us, and a lot of times teams focus in on her. To see some other production helps us and takes some of the pressure off Jenny’s shoulders,” Bahl said.

MSU’s first opponent in the Central Region Tournament is Oklahoma Baptist.

“We’ve kind of had our eye on them a little bit already this season because of the way things were shaping up here over the last month or so,” Bahl stated. “We knew it could potentially be an opponent we would see. We have a little bit of familiarity with them.”

Oklahoma Baptist is 13-5-1 overall this season, while the Mavericks are 17-2-2.

The two teams will face off in Warrensburg, Missouri, Friday at 10 a.m.

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