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August 18, 2019

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Women’s soccer season recap

The Ohio Northern women's soccer program earned its 13th successive Ohio Athletic Conference upper-division finish and appeared in the OAC Tournament Finals for the fourth consecutive season to spotlight a strong 2018 campaign for the Polar Bears under 15th-year head coach Mark Batman.


The Orange and Black would finish the campaign having compiled a 14-4-1 overall record and a 7-1-1 mark in Ohio Athletic Conference play, which ranked second in the final league standings. Their 2018 record marks the 15th straight winning season in women's soccer program history.

Due to their efforts during the regular season, ONU entered the OAC Tournament as the second-seeded program and earned a first-round bye. The Polar Bears would edge Mount Union 2-0 in the semifinals after falling to the same team one weekend prior, securing Ohio Northern's fourth successive trip to the championship match. Northern would battle top-seeded Otterbein down to the wire, eventually falling 1-0 in overtime to conclude the season.

During the season, Ohio Northern would also garner recognition on a national stage and rank among the best teams in the country. The Polar Bears would begin the season ranked No. 8 in the United Soccer Coaches preseason poll and rejoin the listing at No. 23 on October 23 after a brief stint away. Additionally, the program would make appearances on the d3soccer.com national polls throughout the season.

Following their school record 16 shutouts last season, the Ohio Northern defense continued to shine in the 2018 campaign, posting a league-best 13 clean sheets for their encore performance. The Polar Bears also conceded just 0.52 goals per contest, which also led the OAC.

Following the season, the Ohio Athletic Conference honored seven Ohio Northern women's soccer players with all-conference accolades. Junior goalkeeper Meagan Grierson (Miamisburg) and sophomore defender Sydney Leshnak (Liberty Township/Mount Notre Dame) headlined the honorees, earning OAC Goalkeeper of the Year and OAC Defender of the Year kudos, respectively.