Kearney, Neb. – The 14th-ranked Central Oklahoma Bronchos scored four unanswered goals to defeat Nebraska-Kearney, 4-1, Sunday afternoon in Edmond. UCO (7-1-2) bounces back from a 2-1 setback to Fort Hays State on Friday night. UCO is coming off a 22-2 season in which it won the MIAA regular season and tournament titles and reached the NCAA Tournament Central Region finals. The Lopers (1-6-3, 0-2-1), coming off a 0-0 tie at Newman, have given the Bronchos trouble in recent years and that trend rang true early on. Omaha senior Megan Merkel tallied her third career goal in the 17th minute when she went low and hit the back of the net on the left side. That tied things up at one as UCO senior defender Madison Motil had scored six minutes earlier. Now 6-3-0 all-time vs. UNK, the ‘Chos moved ahead for good early in the second half when sophomore defender Taryn Kedzior took a pass from senior forward Asha Haile and scored her second goal of the year in the 51st minute. UCO then iced things with goals in the 65th and 74th minutes.
Out shooting UNK by a 33-5 margin, UCO saw Kedzoir have a team-best nine shots (four on goal) with Haile adding seven (four on goal) more. The ‘Chos have now out shot their competition by a 251-85 margin this fall. Finally, junior Kaitlyn Asher went all 90 minutes in goal and didn’t record a save. Merkel once again paced the Kearney offense with three shots with Norfolk senior Maddie Love and Omaha freshman Emma Weis have the Lopers other shots. In goal Missouri senior Emily Thuss went the distance and made a career-high 12 saves. That ranks as fifth most in school history and six off the record. UNK remains on the road next weekend to face Northwest Missouri State and Missouri Western State.