By Tim Glon
WESTERVILLE — Top-seeded Otterbein scored on a rebound just 57 seconds into overtime to edge the second-seeded Ohio Northern women's soccer team 1-0 in the finals of the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament Saturday night at Memorial Stadium.
The Polar Bears (14-4-1 overall) must now wait until Monday's NCAA Tournament selection show at 1:30 p.m. to find out if their season will continue in the NCAA Tournament.
ONU was playing in its fourth consecutive trip to the tournament finals, winning the title last season.
The Cardinals (16-2-1) won their sixth OAC Tournament crown and earn the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
"I am so proud of the way we played tonight and what we have accomplished this season," ONU head coach Mark Batman said. "ONU and Otterbein are two very evenly matched teams and this match could have gone either way. We responded well after the tough match we had on Thursday and played hard for the entire night tonight.
"Hopefully our season is not over and we will get good news on the NCAA selection show on Monday. Either way, I am very proud of our seniors for getting to the OAC Tournament finals in each of their four seasons. That's an impressive accomplishment."
Northern had a golden opportunity to score in the 50th minute, but a header by sophomore Sydney Leshnak (Liberty Township/Mount Notre Dame) was stopped by a diving save by OU keeper Erin Gordon.
Otterbein's best chance to score in regulation came in the 81st minute when Delaney Earl hit the far post on a long shot from the right corner of the box.
The Cardinals got the match-winner just 57 seconds into the overtime when a 30-yard shot from Emily Ganz hit the crossbar and the post and bounced to Pricilla Severance, who finished from 6 yards out just past the diving effort of ONU junior keeper Meagan Grierson (Miamisburg).
Otterbein outshot Ohio Northern 9-7, but the Polar Bears won the corner kick battle 6-5.