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Cougar women upset Northwestern to advance in UMAC tourney

A pair of first-half goals set the tone for a game that the University of Minnesota, Morris women's soccer team controlled throughout, winning every statistical category as they upset Northwestern 2-0 in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) Tournament Tuesday.

Entering as the No. 3 seed in the tournament, Morris had a pair of one-goal losses in the regular season to second-seeded Northwestern.

Rachel Berns scored at the 31:31 mark to put the Cougars up 1-0 for their first lead over the Eagles all season. Just eight minutes later, they added their insurance, with Taylor Meehan using an assist from Berns to put the Cougars up 2-0.

The defense then made the lead hold up, holding the Eagles to just four total shots in the match, and just one on goal.

The Cougars put up seven shots in each half on the defending tournament champions, landing an amazing 12 of their 14 total shots on goal, the Cougars' fourth straight game in double-figures. Winners of four straight, the Cougars last loss came back on Oct. 20 as a 1-0 setback to Northwestern.

The Cougars' last UMAC Tournament win came back in 2007, with an identical 2-0 win over Northwestern in the semifinals. In the Cougars' last appearance in the UMAC Championship, they fell 4-3 in a shootout with St. Scholastica after tying 1-1 in regulation.

No member of the 2011 Cougars has played in a UMAC Championship game, and they will kick off at 11:30 a.m. on Saints Field at St. Scholastica on Saturday. Morris will also be playing for a berth in the NCAA Tournament, as the UMAC Tournament champion receives an automatic bid to the national playoffs.