RICHMOND, Ky. — Senior midfielder Sarah Buse drilled a penalty kick in the second half and the Bellarmine University women’s soccer team’s defense recorded a shutout as the Knights capped the regular season with a 1-0 victory over Eastern Kentucky in ASUN action at EKU Soccer Field.
Behind the victory, Bellarmine (4-6-7, 2-5-2 ASUN) earned a berth in the ASUN Championship. The Knights are the West’s four-seed and will travel to East one-seed FGCU for a 7 p.m. (ET) quarterfinal contest Friday.
Bellarmine gave itself a shot to make the tourney with the critical win over Eastern Kentucky (8-9, 4-5). After a scoreless first half, the Knights took a 1-0 lead in the 52nd minute.
An Eastern Kentucky defender passed the ball back to goalkeeper Sabrina Hinz, who was just outside the box. Hinz attempted to settle the ball with her feet instead of clear it right away. Never giving up on the play, Bellarmine sophomore forward Sophie Bish rushed at Hinz and managed to steal the ball away from her. Hinz then took Bish down in the box, the result of which was a red card for Hinz and a penalty kick opportunity for the Knights.
Buse was 1-for-1 on PKs on the season heading into the game and remained perfect, burying her attempt while tallying her team-high fourth goal of the year.
That’s all the offense Bellarmine would require. The Knights notched their fifth shutout, and senior goalkeeper Elyssa Francis racked up seven saves in the blanking of the Colonels.
Bellarmine did a stellar job of milking the clock in the waning minutes with its work near the sidelines. EKU had a dangerous run in the final 15 seconds, but the Knights snuffed it out near the end line, squashing the threat by punching the ball out of bounds as the final seconds ticked off.
The competitive match saw EKU with a 12-10 advantage in shots, including 8-4 on frame.
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