Defending champs win again in NAIA
Playing on muddy Jack Allen turf, Lee records another shutout
By R. Sirvell Carter, Sports Writer, The Decatur Daily
In a rematch from last year’s quarterfinals of the NAIA Women’s Soccer Championships, Lee (Tenn.) eliminated rival Martin Methodist (Tenn.) 3-0.
Second-seeded Lee (19-2-1) recorded its ninth straight shutout on a heavily muddied Jack Allen Soccer Complex field. Lee coach Matt Yelton said the team had to work with the conditions it was given.
“You’ve got to embrace it,” Yelton said.
All Wednesday matches were moved from main pitch at Jack Allen to an alternate field to allow for the main playing surface to recover from the consistent rain since Sunday night.
Kim Conrad, Christiane Christensen and Lauren Good each scored a goal. Twin sisters Jenna and Jamie Achten and Christensen each provided an assist. Goalkeeper Leah Wilson posted three saves.
Lee, which is based in Cleveland, and Martin Methodist, based in Pulaski, are separated by about 150 miles.
“Martin Methodist is a huge rival for us,” Yelton said.
Lee scored less than two minutes into the game. Conrad scored on Jenna Achten’s assist with 43:17 left in the first half.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better start,” Yelton said.
The Lady Flames secured the win in the second half when Christensen scored with 37:03 left in the game and assisted on Good’s goal with 16:19 remaining.
Lee has not allowed a goal since winning 9-1 at Columbia (S.C.) College on Oct. 23. The Lady Flames held Martin Methodist (16-3-2) to five shots.
Wilson’s last allowed a goal Oct. 13 in a 4-1 victory at Carson-Newman in Jefferson City, Tenn. Yelton said the freshman has made huge strides in her first season.
“She has performed above expectations, for sure,” said Yelton. “She’s really matured over the course of the year.”
Yelton cautioned that Wilson still needs to step up her strong play in order for Lee to repeat as champions.
The defending NAIA champions will play Friday in another 2008 tourney rematch. Last year Lee defeated Concordia (Ore.) 3-0 in final.
“We have a huge amount of respect for (Concordia),” Yelton said. They are consistently one of the top teams.”
Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.) 2, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 0: The unseeded Sea Lions knocked off a seeded team for the third time in the tournament.
They beat No. 9 Simon Fraser (Canada) in the opening round played in British Columbia. In Decatur, the Sea Lions (15-4-3) beat No. 8 Vanguard (Calif.) and then No. 1 Lindsey Wilson (19-3-2).
In Wednesday’s match, Point Loma freshman goalkeeper Tiffany Kracy saved five shots to earn her 13th shutout of the season.
Senior reserve Ashley Adams scored the first goal on a pass from Lauren Hernandez. In the second half, senior midfielder Alex Fuller sealed the win with a goal on an assist by Kelsey Lundberg.
It is the first time the number-one seed has not reached the semifinals of the NAIA Women’s Soccer Championships since seeding began in 2000.
No. 6 Concordia (Ore.) 3, No. 3 California Baptist 1: Three different people scored goals to help Concordia (21-2) knock off California Baptist (17-5-1).
Concordia opened the scoring when Jessica Ramback netted a cross from Alex Thomas with three seconds left in the first half.
In the 57th minute, freshman Kaitlyn Tebbs scored off a rebound from Alex Thomas’ shot. Jackie Hendrickson corralled a loose ball in the 64th minute to give the Cavaliers a 3-0 lead.
California Baptist added a goal in the 87th when Jacquelyn Witz headed home a cross from Amanda Lammers.
No. 4 Azusa Pacific (Calif.) 1, No. 12 Graceland (Iowa) 0: Azusa Pacific senior defender Katie Rorabaugh scored the only goal on a bit of a freak play.
She sent a free kick from 40 yards out skipping past the Graceland goalkeeper in the 40th minute for what would prove to be the game winner. Graceland (19-2-2) managed only two shots, while the Cougars (17-3-1) managed 13 shots. The victory put Azusa Pacific into the semifinals for the third time in four years.
NAIA Women’s Soccer Championships
All games are at Jack Allen?Soccer Complex.
No. 4 Azusa Pacific (Calif.) 1, Graceland (Iowa) 0
No. 6 Concordia (Ore.) 3, No. 3 California Baptist 1
Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.) 2, No. 1 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 1
No. 2 Lee (Tenn.) 3, No. 7 Martin Methodist (Tenn.)?0
3 p.m.: Azusa Pacific, 17-3-1, vs. Point Loma Nazarene, 15-4-3
6 p.m.: Concordia, 21-2, vs. Lee, 19-2-1