Special to The Sun
Kate Foran put Central Oklahoma on top early and the Bronchos dominated from start-to-finish in a 4-0 drubbing of Missouri Southern Tuesday afternoon at Tom Thompson Field.
Foran – who had the lone goal in UCO’s 1-0 regular-season win over the Lions – scored just 7:35 into the first-round Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Tournament mismatch and the Bronchos were never threatened.
UCO held a huge 21-5 shot advantage and got goals from four different players in its second-highest scoring game of the season to advance to Friday’s semifinals.
The second-seeded Bronchos, now 15-1-3 on the season, will play No. 6-seed Fort Hays State Friday at the site of the highest remaining seed after the Tigers upset third-seeded Truman State 1-0.
Top-seeded Central Missouri plays Southwest Baptist and No. 4 Northeastern State meets Northwest Missouri Tuesday night in the remaining first-round games.
“We came out really aggressive offensively and did a great job taking the attack to them,” UCO coach Mike Cook said. “I thought we were really focused today and the girls turned it up a notch.”
The Bronchos set the tone early with Foran’s goal as the sophomore forward gathered in a Stephanie Fleig pass right in front of the net and scored easily.
UCO made it 2-0 in the 30th minute when Caitlin Bond finished off a long run with a kick over MSSU’s on-rushing goalkeeper into an open net.
Tess Barnard had a shot go off the post with 5:40 left in the half and Elle Aston’s hard shot from 15 yards out three minutes later was barely batted over the goal to keep the lead at 2-0.
UCO made it 3-0 early in the second half on Alyssa Anderson’s sixth goal of the season, this one a rocket from 10 yards away off a Fleig corner kick.
Aston completed the scoring with 5:46 left, taking a long cross from Paige Patacchiera and knocking in her first goal of the year from 12 yards out.
Meagan Burke went the distance in goal, making two saves to record her ninth shutout of the season. She had plenty of defensive help, with Miranda Thorne, Jordan Hutchison, Courtney Cox and Kylee Warne leading the way as UCO held MIAA leading scorer Megan Stueve to two shots.