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Nov. 13, 2009 (CANYON, Texas) – Senior Riley Mahn headed in a corner kick off the foot of fellow senior Kristin Haluszczak in the 68th minute while the Truman defense stood strong in a 1-0 Bulldog win against conference-rival Nebraska-Omaha in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday afternoon.
Mahn logged her sixth goal of the season – and 21st of her career – with just under 23 minutes to play, as Truman (15-3-3) advanced to face South Central top seed and host West Texas A&M (14-2-3) at 1:00 pm on Sunday afternoon in Canyon.
Neither team could get much going offensively early on, as Truman out-shot the Mavericks (13-6-2), 2-0, in the opening 45 minutes. But the Bulldogs came out firing in the second half, maintaining possession on the UNO end of the field to garner a corner kick and only the second shot on goal within the first ten minutes. After a Maverick corner kick and shot of their own surrounding the 60-minute mark, Truman pushed again and earned back-to-back corner kicks in the 67th minute.
After Haluszczak’s first corner kick saw a follow-up shot by senior Katie Reuck get tipped wide, Haluszczak teed it up again and found Mahn’s head on the back post to give Truman a 1-0 lead. It was Haluszczak’s first assist of the season in what was also her 86th career match, which made her Truman’s all-time leader in the category. The senior is also now just one match behind a trio of Washburn players for the conference’s top mark of 87.
The Bulldogs controlled possession mainly throughout on a windy, warm day and held tight on defense by allowing UNO to take just two shots – with none coming on goal. The two shots were a season-low for the Mavs, who entered play as the conference’s only team averaging more than two goals per game on the season.
Truman also earned eight corner kicks while allowing UNO to take just one in earning the first postseason win against the Mavs in program history. The Bulldogs entered the match 0-4 all-time against UNO in playoff action.
Sophomore Jayne Grisham was not forced to make a save in picking up her 10th shutout of the season. The Bulldogs, as a team, now have 14 shutouts in 2009 which is just one shy of both the school and MIAA record of 15, set by the 2001 and 2004 Bulldog squads.
It was the first neutral site contest of the season for the 4th-seeded Bulldogs, who are now slated to take on top-seeded WTAMU on Sunday. The Lady Buffs won the Lone Star Conference regular season before falling in penalty kicks in the LSC tournament last weekend. WTAMU posted an 8-0-2 home record this season and faced two common opponents as Truman – tying UCM, 1-1, on Sept. 4 and beating St. Edward’s (Texas), 1-0, on Sept. 11. The Bulldogs split the regular season series with UCM and tied SEU at home.
Sunday will be the first meeting between the Bulldogs and Lady Buffs and can be viewed for free through a link on Truman’s official athletics Web site: http://gobulldogs.truman.edu.