Cavaliers play into NAIA soccer final

Concordia will play three-time champion Lee for women's title Saturday
Junior Alex Thomas does some practice work Thursday.
Photo by Cliff Pfenning,

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.