XENIA, Ohio - The University of Dayton women's soccer team posted its 11th shutout of the season with a 2-0 victory over Rhode Island Friday night at the Athletes in Action Sports Complex, clinching a spot in the 2009 Atlantic 10 Women's Soccer Championship to be played Nov. 5-8 in Charlotte, N.C.
"This has been their M.O. all year. They work hard. It's the way they've gone about their business," said UD Head Coach Mike Tucker of his squad's shutout. "Their (Rhode Island's) style was just to dump it in over the top and we defended well. We didn't give up too many great opportunities. We battled, and within the laws of the game."
The Flyers improve to 11-0-5 overall and 7-0-1 in the Atlantic 10 and inch closer to the school record for shutouts; 13 when the 2004 UD squad allowed just 12 goals, also a school record. This year's edition has only allowed five goals all year, with three games left to play in the regular season.
In a very physical match, the Flyers dominated with 21 shots compared to the Rams' eight. URI (4-11-1, 2-6-0 A-10) had 22 fouls, four yellow cards and a red card.
"This game crossed the line many times and, at times, the girls let it affect their play," said Tucker. "We are sitting here with injuries that we haven't had all year because of the style of play."
Junior Tori Oelschlager scored the game winner for the second consecutive match for UD. The outside midfielder, who scored her first collegiate goal against Duquesne last weekend, scored in the 51st minute to give the Flyers a lead they would not relinquish.
"I feel like I finally got the monkey off my back and I'm ready to score some more goals," said Oelschlager. "These next two games are big for us. They are clutch for this season. I really love this team."
"Tori never played wide before last spring. She is getting better and better," said Tucker. "She's getting herself in the right position. She has everything you need to be good in that position and it shows."
Fellow junior Kelly Blumeschein placed a perfect service into the box and connected with Oeslchlager who headed it past the keeper for the score.
"It was a nice ball down the line on the left to Kelly and I was running in from the back post," said Oelschlager. "Kelly played it right over the defender who was in front of me and it was an open goal."
Another junior, Allison Giner, scored her second goal of the season and the second of the match after a scramble around the goal. She got the rebound and slid the ball under the keeper in the 83rd minute.
"That goal was huge. You never like 1-0 and when you have 2-0 that late you feel more comfortable," said Tucker. "Alli is so quick and when she sees the ball in front of her, nothing is going to get between her and that. She finished it perfectly; took her time and put it right where the ball needed to go. She's an all-out 100 percent effort kind of player."
Freshman goalkeeper Katherine Boone had six saves in goal for the Flyers, and her goals against average improved to .27, the best in the A-10 and second-best in the country.
Dayton hosts UMass this Sunday, Oct. 25 at 1 p.m. ET at Baujan Field. The match will be designated the Flyers' Think Pink Match.
"I hope we continue on the streak. It's not going to get any easier Sunday," said Tucker. "We're going to have to play a lot better. We owe UMass from last year so we'd like to get that one back and finish the year strong."
The University of Dayton women's soccer team will be wearing pink warm-up jerseys for their Breast Cancer Awareness game against UMass. The Flyer starting line-up will throw pink shirts to the "Red Scare". In addition, donations can be made at the entrances of Baujan Field, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to breast cancer research. There will also be a silent auction for three pink Nike Dayton jerseys signed by the entire UD women's soccer team. The auction begins at the UMass game Sunday and fans can bid via e-mail from Monday, Oct. 26-Friday, Oct. 30. Final bids will be accepted at the Xavier game Saturday, Oct. 31. Winners of the three jerseys will be announced at halftime. All proceeds go to breast cancer research.