WMU Women to Host MAC Finals

KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- The Western Michigan women's soccer team (11-7-1) advanced to the 2003 Mid-American Conference Tournament semifinals with a 3-0 win over Buffalo (11-8-1) Tuesday afternoon at the WMU Soccer Complex, and as a result, will now host the remainder of the event this weekend.

Western Michigan entered the tourney as the No. 3 seed and with the combined losses of No. 1 Eastern Michigan and No. 2 Kent State, the Broncos are now the highest remaining seed.

No. 5 Central Michigan (defeated No. 4 Ball State 2-0) will take on No. 8 Bowling Green (defeated No. 1 EMU 2-1) at 11 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 7 and WMU will face No. 7 Ohio (defeated KSU 1-0) at 2 p.m. The championship game is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 9, with the winner earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Senior forward Jessica Pattison provided all the offense the Broncos would need with the first shot of the day. Junior Michelle Palazzolo's through ball at the top of the box found Pattison and she beat UB netminder Anna-Lesa Calvert inside the near post from 15 yards away.

Buffalo, however, would dominate possession the rest of the half, finishing with five shots. None of the attempts ever seriously challenged WMU's Kate Perz, who made six saves in her seventh shutout of the campaign, which sets a program single-season record.

Sophomore Chelsea McNally provided some much-needed insurance at the 56:10 mark, heading in a corner from freshman Chantal Robinson for her second score of the season. Robinson's helper gives her 11 on the year, already a single-season record at WMU.

Pattison capped the day with her team-leading seventh goal of 2003, one-timing home a nice combination play with sophomore Katie Ruzinsky and freshman Mandi Marsh. Marsh track down a failed service along the line left of the goal, served a ball back across the box to Ruzinsky, who took a touch and found Pattison with a cross of her own outside the left post.

Western Michigan is now 8-0-0 at home this season, the most wins in a year at the WMU Soccer Complex since the program's inception. The Broncos also extended their school-record winning streak to seven matches, outscoring their opponents 16-3 during that run.

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