MORGANTOWN, W.V. - And the Lions just keep on rolling. LMU women's soccer's historic season continues as the Lions knocked off Minnesota, 1-0, Friday afternoon in NCAA Tournament second round action at Dick Dleck Stadium in Morgantown, W.V.
LMU moves on to the tournament's third round and will face the winner of tonight's West Virginia/Northwestern game on Sunday at 1 p.m. The win moves the Lions to 15-5-1 on the season while the Golden Gophers' season ends with a 12-7-3 overall record.
Sarah Sanger scored the game-winner just 4:16 into the match and once again the LMU defense was fabulous in their 12th shutout of the year.
The sophomore striker scored her fourth goal of the season on the first shot attempt by either side. Taking a pass from Morgan Hilby, Sanger sent a shot from inside the box into the far post netting, beating Golden Gopher goalkeeper Tara Hobbs.
LMU continued to pepper the Minnesota goal early as Sanger had a near second goal cleared off the line by a Gopher defender.
Charlee Pruitt began to go to work for the Lions 20 minutes in as back-to-back saves by the redshirt freshman kept the clean slate alive early. Minnesota finished with a 15-11 shot advantage, including five on frame by Simone Kolander. But Pruitt finished with three saves in the first half and four in the second on the way to her third straight shutout.
This year marks the Lions' third all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament and the first since 2006. The back-to-back wins are a first as they were previous 0-2 in postseason play. No record is safe this year as season totals for wins, league wins and postseason wins are all program bests. Twelve shutouts is one shy of the program's single-season record.
Loyola Marymount is the seventh West Coast Conference program to advance to the Sweet-16 since 1989 and at least one conference member has participated in the third round in 25 of the last 26 seasons.