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Lauren Naso sends ONU Women’s Soccer to OAC Tournament finals

Junior Lauren Naso (Grosse Ile, Mich.) played the hero for the Ohio Northern women's soccer team Thursday night, scoring both goals in a 2-1 double-overtime win over Capital in the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament semifinals at Kerscher Stadium.

The victory improves the No. 2 seed Polar Bears to 12-4-3 overall and advances them to their seventh consecutive OAC Tournament championship game.

ONU will play at top-seeded and defending champion Otterbein on Saturday at 2 p.m. for what will be a rematch of the past three OAC Tournament finals.

Naso scored with just under three minutes remaining in Thursday's first half to give the Polar Bears a 1-0 halftime edge.

Freshman Alyssa Beckett (Monroe) was credited with the assist after her shot ricocheted off the crossbar with the ball finding its way to Naso for the score.

The third-seeded Comets (9-8-2 overall) had an answer, however, as junior Avery Hart scored her team-leading ninth goal of the season on assists from junior Aaliyah Brletic and senior Olivia Rotolo 14:15 into the second half.

ONU out-shot Capital 9-4 in the second half but was unable to retake the lead before time expired in regulation.

With the game headed to overtime, there were shades of last year's OAC semifinal game between ONU and Capital in which the teams played to a scoreless draw after 110 minutes before the Polar Bears advanced on penalty kicks by a 9-8 score.

Thursday's game didn't get that far, though, as Naso found the back of the net with 2:54 left in the second overtime period for an unassisted goal to give the Polar Bears the victory.

Naso now has three goals on the season.

ONU senior goalkeeper Kristy Catrine (Springboro) tallied two saves in the win.

Capital goaltender Lauren White recorded nine saves.

The Polar Bears out-shot the Comets 20-7, including 11-3 in shots on goal, and finished with a 4-2 edge in corner kicks.