Friday, November 19, 2010

Lenoir-Rhyne Edges AASU, 1-0, In NCAA Southeast Region Soccer Final

TAMPA, Fla. - The Armstrong Atlantic State University women's soccer team saw its season come to a close in the 2010 NCAA Southeast Region championship match, falling 1-0 to Lenoir-Rhyne on Friday afternoon at Pepin Stadium in Tampa.

With the win, the Bears (19-2-1) advance to Sunday's match against either Florida Tech or Tampa with a berth into the NCAA DII Final Four on the line. The No. 11-ranked Pirates see their season come to a close with a 14-4-2 record.

Lenoir-Rhyne came out with the offensive charge in the first half, forcing Armstrong keeper Tracey Mitchell to make six first-half saves. Even so, the score remained 0-0 even though the Bears outshot the Pirates, 8-3, in before intermission.

In the second half, the Pirates had a one-on-one chance with Erin Holt in on the keeper off the restart, but Bears keeper Caitlin Scruggs beat Holt to the ball to keep the match scoreless. Lenoir-Rhyne finally broke through in the 54th minute as a diagonal ball into the box from Mariel Mena found the foot of Laura Linehan, who slotted it left for the go-ahead goal.

Armstrong had a few good chances afterwards, the best coming in the 67th minute as Amber Raney hit the far post on a volley, but Scruggs made six saves in preserving the shutout for the Bears and sending Lenoir-Rhyne to the region championship.

Lenoir-Rhyne finished the match with a 15-14 advantage in shots - only the second time that Armstrong has been outshot this season - and also a 5-4 edge in corner kicks. Armstrong was whistled for 10 fouls, compared to 9 for the Bears, and Lenoir-Rhyne was whistled for three offsides compared to one for the Pirates.

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