CINCINNATI - Four players scored as the No. 16 Express women's soccer team defeated Cincinnati State 4-1 to clinch the Region XII regular season championship and the #1 overall seed in the Region XII postseason tournament.
Jessica Grindle scored 46 seconds into the match to give the Express a 1-0 lead. It was the quickest goal in program history - beating Kendra Eitniear's goal 1:42 into the season opener last year.
Haley Kreger then knocked in a rebound shot at the 9:26 mark to put the Express up 2-0. Jill Burkholder (34:14) and Kendra Eitniear (35:37) each added goals later in the half as the Express scored all four in the first half.
Eitniear assisted on Grindle's goal, while Kreger's was unassisted. Jaime Sesock and Burkholder added the final two assists.
Eitniear's goal was her 11th of the year, Grindle's was her sixth, Kreger's was her third and Burkholder's was her eighth, which helps her remain second on the team in goals scored behind Eitniear.
Burkholder's assist increased her team-high total to nine. Sesock's assist was her sixth and Eitniear's assist was her fourth.
With the win, the Express (12-2-3 overall) clinched at least a tie with Schoolcraft College for first place in Region XII, and the Express hold the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Thus, as the top overall seed in the region, the Express will take on #4 seed Muskegon Community College in the Region XII semifinals next Saturday at 2 p.m. The tournament will be held at Jackson Community College.