Lamoni, IA - The Jackets hosted Robert Morris University at the Razz in the opening round of NAIA playoffs, giving up a 4-0 loss to the red-hot Eagles to end their 2012 campaign.
The RMU squad, anchored by standout forward Florence Dadson, was a tough matchup for Graceland out of the gate in the tourney. The unseeded Eagles entered the tournament hot off a Chicago Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) championship, where RMU ran the table against exceptional competition after a patchwork squad got off to an ugly start on the season.
The first ten minutes of the match looked to suggest a defensive-minded meat-grinder as both teams reeled off big-time runs only to be stopped cold by the opposing defensive backfields.
But Robert Morris put that phase to rest when Dadson struck in a goal at the 12:35 mark, putting the visitors up 1-0.
Graceland spent the remainder of the half fighting off challenges from the RMU attack while attempting to penetrate an iron wall of Eagle defenders braced around keeper Ana Hernandez. The Jacket efforts on offense proved to no avail, as no equalizer could be found before the buzzer rang for halftime.
The Eagles quickly capitalized on their ownership of the match's momentum coming out of the lockers, and Carolynn Weiland hammered a ball into the GU net to give her team a 2-0 lead less than two minutes into the second period.
Dadson took Weiland's assist in minute 48 to quickly pile on, and RMU rolled into a 3-0 lead.
Graceland's attempts at chipping away the deficit were met by a staunch Eagle defense, and a number of GU opportunities were corralled by goalie Hernandez's aggressive play in the box.
Gaby Loera took a Dadson assist in for goal in the 65th minute to end scoring festivities on the night, and the remainder of the game was run after Graceland run slamming against RMU's backfield before being pushed away.
"This was an unfortunate end to a great season," said Coach Fred Wagenaar. "We picked a bad day to make some uncharacteristic mistakes early in the second, and we just could not get back on."
For Graceland, Gisela Arrieta took five shots on the night, two of which found their way into the hands of Hernandez. Sydney Nolan and Hana Piepergerdes each took a shot on goal to round out the Jacket shooting for the match.
"This result should not take the shine off of an outstanding season by this team. The coaching staff is very proud of all these ladies have achieved," added Wagenaar.
The Yellowjackets finish the season 17-3-1, going 8-1-1 in Lamoni during a HAAC championship season that saw the ladies own a shiny 6-0-1 conference record.
Graceland University would like to thank the GU women's soccer family and all the supporters who have followed the Jackets this season. Stay tuned to GUjackets.com for continuing coverage of the women's soccer offseason as Coach Wagenaar enters recruiting season and the ladies take on their offseason program.