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Monroe stops Iowa Western one win short of NJCAA women's soccer championship match

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FOLEY, Alabama — Second-seeded Monroe (N.Y.) made Yolanda Albalat’s goal in the 56th minute stand for a 1-0 victory over third-seeded Iowa Western Friday in a national semifinal at the NJCAA women’s soccer tournament at the Foley Sports Complex.

“I thought we fought hard,’’ Iowa Western coach Adam Sanchez said. “I think the effort was there, but Monroe, they just have quality throughout their roster. They were highly intelligent and knew exactly how they wanted to play. They managed our threats really, really well.’’

Albalat found herself open in front of the net from medium range and rifled one into the upper left corner of the net to give Monroe the lead.

The Reivers were credited with seven shots and six shots on goal to Monroe’s 12 shots and seven on goal.

“We did create a couple chances,’’ Sanchez said. “I thought enough to win the game. When you play against a great side, you have to put away chances, and we just didn’t do that.’’

Iowa Western, which was seeking its fifth trip to the national-championship match, finished at 17-3-1. Monroe (15-0-1) will meet top-seeded Tyler (23-1-1) for the title on Saturday.

Keeper Whitney Dockweiler made leaping save in the 34th minute, punching the ball over the cross bar. Sanchez said she’s particularly adept at that play.

Unlike their two group matches, the Reivers couldn’t find the equalizer.

“There’s nothing to hang our heads on, because they were just a fantastic side,’’ Sanchez said. “Any time in these types of matches when two great teams are together, it’s just a matter of who puts one in the back of the net, and it just wasn’t us today.’’

Iowa Western (17-3-1) 0 0—0

Monroe (15-0-1) 0 1—1

Goal: M, Yolando Albalat.

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