Courtesy: Nebraska Athletics
Champaign, Ill. – The Nebraska soccer program added a second conference tournament trophy to its mantle on Sunday with a 1-0 win over Iowa to claim its first Big Ten Tournament Championship. Jaycie Johnson's penalty kick goal in the 30th minute was the difference as the Huskers locked up both regular-season and tournament titles for the fourth time in school history and first since 2000.
Johnson, who leads NU with 13 goals, earned a penalty kick chance in the 30th minute after an excellent through ball from junior Mayme Conroy. The speedy freshman converted on the ensuing PK opportunity beating the Iowa keeper right side with a powerful shot to give NU the 1-0 edge. The score was the first allowed by Iowa in four matches and was enough to clinch the tournament crown.
The Nebraska defense had a tough tasks on its hands as Iowa outshot the Huskers by a 16-11 margin. However, NU allowed just three shots on goal while putting up four attempts on target. Jordan Jackson led the Scarlet and Cream with five attempts.
Ari Romero, Kylie Greischar, Mayme Conroy, Jordan Jackson and Maritza Hayes all played 90 minutes for Nebraska.
Senior goalkeeper Emma Stevens, who also worked the entire 90, made three stops in the title battle and make some excellent touches later in the match to avoid the equalizer en route to her 18th win of the year. The victory for the Corona, Calif. native is the 36th of her career.
The 18th-ranked Huskers (18-3-1) are on a season-best nine-game win streak and have won 16 of its last 17 matches for the first time since 2002 when NU ran off 22 of its first 23 matches. NU has now scored in 18 consecutive matches, its longest streak since 2000 when Nebraska scored in its first 23 contests. The 18 victories are also the most since 2000.
In a brief ceremony following the title celebration, Jordan Jackson, Ari Romero and Jaycie Johnson were all named to the 2013 Big Ten All-Tournament Team. Johnson was selected Offensive Player the Tournament, while Romero was named Defensive Player of the Tournament.
The Huskers appeared in a conference tournament championship match for the seventh time, registering a 6-1 record, in school history and first since 2002 when NU brought home the Big 12 title. The Scarlet and Cream are 12-0-1 this season when scoring first and now have a 21-10 overall record in conference tournament matches, including five titles.
The B1G Tournament title is the 10th conference championship for Head Coach John Walker after starting the NU soccer program 20 years ago. Nebraska won regular season titles in 1996, 1999, 2000 and now 2013, while taking home tournament titles in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002 and on Sunday.
Nebraska will now await their NCAA Tournament bid, which will be revealed on Monday at 3:30 p.m. with the Selection Show streamed live on NCAA.com.