Cavaliers play into NAIA soccer final

Concordia will play three-time champion Lee for women's title Saturday

DECATUR, Ala. - In one of its top perfomances of the season, Concordia University played its way into the NAIA women's soccer final with a 4-0 semifinal victory over Point Loma Nazarene Friday at the Jack Allen Sports Complex.

The win moved the Cavaliers into the final for the third time and pits them against Lee University of Tennessee, who they lost to in the 2008 final.
Kickoff for the championship bout is set for 5 p.m. (CST).

The 4-0 win over Point Loma Nazarene also boosted the Cavs record to 19-4-1 overall this season, while Point Loma lost only its second match of the season to drop to 19-2-4. Point Loma had advanced to the semifinals after back-to-back wins in penalty kicks over Westmont (Calif.) and Baker (Kan.).

For the second straight day, CU jumped out with an early lead against a higher-seeded team. After posting a goal in the 4th minute versus top-seeded Lindsey Wilson on Wednesday, the Cavaliers broke open the game's scoring in the 16th minute. Led with a pass from backline partner Brittany Orr (Federal Way, Wash./Todd Beamer H.S.), Lauryn Helmers (Puyallup, Wash./Emerald Ridge H.S.) surprised the Sea Lions by launching a 25-yard blast from the left side into the upper corner of the net.

Minutes later the forward tandem of Hannah Scott (Milwaukie, Ore./Milwaukie H.S.) and Alex Thomas (Wilsonville, Ore./Wilsonville H.S.) connected for a close-range attack. Pushing the ball inside the box, Thomas punched the ball to Scott who willed the second score of the game after PLNU keeper Tiffany Kracy failed to completely corral the orb. 

Twenty minutes later, Concordia started a second pair of goals with Alex Blalock (Flagstaff, Ariz./Coconino H.S.) and Jackie Hendrickson (Colorado Springs, Colo./Rampart H.S.) placing successful strikes at the 40:12 and the 44:37 mark. Sydney Tucker (Redmond, Ore./Redmond H.S.) was credited with the assist on Blalocks's score while Hayley Hayes (Meridian, Idaho/Rocky Mountain H.S.) nabbed the assist on Hendrickson's tally giving CU eight different players that registered a point in the half.





Concordia's women carry Oregon's soccer hopes

Wed, 11/24/2010 - 3:18pm
Cliff Pfenning
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They’re ready to thaw out, the players on the Concordia women’s soccer team.

That’s what you would have gotten from their final practice before the trip to Decatur, Alabama that starts Friday.

The Cavaliers, ranked No. 1, will be chasing the university’s first national championship in a team sport when they arrive for the NAIA National Championship tournament at the Jack Allen Recreation Complex.

Concordia, 19-0-2, plays Hastings, Neb. College, Monday in the 16-team tournament. No. 2 Lee University of Cleveland, Tenn., plays Monday as well.

The Cavaliers won’t meet Lee until the final if the two continue to win. If it happens, it’ll be the third straight year the teams will have met either in the final or the semifinal. Lee won both, in the final two years ago and the semifinals last year.

The wins have put that school on another level in women’s soccer.

The Lee roster includes an international cast with two freshmen from South Africa, and one each from England, Scotland, Denmark and Norway.

Katrine Korsgaard, the freshman from Denmark, scored two goals Saturday, and two other international players also started Saturday.

The team’s top player, though, Jamie Achten, is a junior from Franklin, Tenn.

Concordia’s answer to their Southern/international rival is a roster of West Coast players led by senior midfielder Kaitlyn Tebbs, from Bend High, and Alex Thomas, from Camas, Wash. None of Concordia’s players are from towns East of the Rockies.

Tebbs scored 11 goals and dished out eight assists, while Thomas has eight goals and four assists. In 21 games, the Cavs have scored 55 goals.

The team’s real strength, though, is defense, having given up just five goals all season. Opposing teams converted just five of 60 shots on goal against goalkeeper Tori Talbutt and Marie Burn, and had a combined 27 corner kicks.

Lee plays conference rival Mobile, it the beat just 2-1 two weeks ago, in its first game in Decatur.

Azusa Pacific, which handed Lee one of its two losses back in September, is also in the Lee half of the 16-team bracket. Lee’s side has five teams with two or fewer losses.

On Concordia’s side, there’s just one team with fewer than three losses: William Jewell of Missouri, and it gave up four goals in an 8-4 win Saturday. Martin-Methodist of Tennessee, which has won two titles in the past five years, is in Concordia’s side.

Those facts are just meaningless points of interest, though, especially for a team that needed to rally from behind to win its first-round playoff game, 2-1, against Simon Fraser Saturday.

They won’t just have the opposition to worry about, but the rain and mud, something with came up as a big factor from last year’s drive to the semifinals.



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