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Bitter scores overtime goal to send MLC into playoffs

NEW ULM — The Martin Luther College women’s soccer team clinched a spot in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference Postseason Tournament with a 1-0 overtime win over UW-Superior on Saturday.

The Knights entered the day needing a win to secure a fourth place finish in the final UMAC standings, but had to go to extra time after the two teams finished the first 90 minutes scoreless.

In the overtime period, junior Lydia Bitter was able to shake free in the box and beat the UWS keeper on the far side on the ground to give the Knights the win.

Bitter’s goal was her team-leading sixth of the season, and came after the Knights dominated play for much of the game. MLC finished with a 19-4 advantage in total shots, including an 11-3 edge in shots on goal.

MLC keeper Mollie Fischer stopped all three UWS shots on goal on the way to her seventh shutout of the season.

The Knights improved to 7-9-1 on the season and 4-3-1 in UMAC play, good for fourth in the final conference standings, with the win. UWS fell to 7-10-2 overall and 5-3-0 in league play in defeat.

MLC will host the quarterfinal game of the UMAC Postseason Tournament against fifth-seed Bethany Lutheran College on Monday.

Men’s cross-country

SUPERIOR, Wis. — The MLC men’s cross-country team finished fourth at the UMAC Cross Country Chamionships on Saturday.

The Knights finished the event with 114 total points. St. Scholastica took first place with 19 points, followed by UW-Superior (69) and Minnesota Morris (72).

Ethan Carter led the charge for MLC with a time of 28:28.3, good for 15th place overall.

Jacob Melso (28:36.1) and Ryan Maertz (28:45.1) took home top 20 finishes, while Caleb Lash (29:43.2) and Josiah Loersch (29:56.6) finished 30th and 33rd, respectively.

MLC will return to action on Friday when it runs in the Saint John’s Fall Finale.

Women’s cross-country

SUPERIOR, Wis. — The Martin Luther College women’s cross country team finished fifth at Saturday’s UMAC Cross Country Championships.

The Knights finished the event with 138 total points. St. Scholastica finished first with 52 total points, followed by Minnesota Morris (54) and UW-Superior (86).

First-year runner Abigail Buege led the way for MLC with a time of 24:42.2, good for fifth place overall. Buege’s fifth-place finish is the best by an MLC runner in the UMAC Women’s Cross Country Championships since Robin Nommensen took fourth place in 2011.

Aimee Olsen (27:21.2), Emmalie Olsen (27:29.4) and Elsa Ponath (27:30.9) finished within 10 seconds of each other in 30th, 32nd and 33rd place, while Hannah Kratz (28:00.5) rounded out the top five for the Knights in 38th place.

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