Bison soccer team clinches GAC regular season title

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The 20th-ranked Oklahoma Baptist women's soccer team claimed its third Great American Conference regular season championship in the last four seasons, defeating the Ouachita Tigers by a score of 2-0 on Saturday afternoon.

On a day where the Bison celebrated Emily Griffith on Senior Day, the entire team found themselves celebrating after earning a hard-fought victory and finding out Southwestern Oklahoma State was upset earlier in the day by East Central to claim the outright title.

It was a battle from the start for OBU as Ouachita pressed early on and tried to find an early goal. However, the Bison settled in and began to slow down the Tiger attack while dominating possession.

Kelsi Mensen struck first for OBU from 25 yards out as her right foot found a clear attempt, rocketing a goal into the top right corner for the 1-0 lead in the 16th minute.

The Bison continued to dominate possessions, holding a 56-44 advantage in the first half and taking their one goal advantage into the break.

Ouachita upped its attack in the second half, looking for an equalizing goal, but OBU continued to maintain the pace and keep the Tigers at bay. OBU put the match away for good in the 88th minute as Tori Kitchel found a seam and sent a ball into the box. Kaylee Swaner's shot hit the crossbar, but Griffith was in the right place as she finished off the match with a Senior Day goal.

Mia Pendleton got her fourth shutout of the season as she finished with five saves. The Bison defense was dominant, holding Ouachita to seven shots behind excellent defense from Kimmy McKinney, Sarah Bryant, Hannah Evans and Keely Hampton.

Katie Fowler was excellent in attack on the afternoon with four shots while Griffith added four shots of her own. Mensen finished with three shots on the afternoon.

OBU moved to 5-1-2 on the season and 4-0-1 in the GAC. The Bison go to Harding on Tuesday at 2 p.m. to complete the regular season. The Bison will host the GAC semifinals and championship game on April 15 and 17, respectively.