Story by Chad Waller, Director of Athletic Communications & Media
Pictures courtesy of Referee Photo. To order photos, CLICK HERE
ORANGE BEACH, Ala. – Four teams will advance to the semifinals – No. 2 Spring Arbor (Mich.), No. 3 University of Northwestern Ohio, No. 4 William Carey (Miss.) and No. 9 Benedictine (Kan.) – after quarterfinal victories today at the 34th annual NAIA Women’s Soccer National Championship. The championship runs through Saturday, Dec. 2 with the national championship final scheduled for 3 p.m. CST from the Orange Beach SportsPlex in Orange Beach, Ala. The Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Sports Commission hosts the event for the sixth-straight year.
- No. 9 Benedictine (Kan.) tied No. 1 Martin Methodist (Tenn.), 1-1 (2 OT)
- o Benedictine advances in PKs, 5-3
- No. 4 William Carey (Miss.) def. No. 12 Southeastern (Fla.), 2-0
- No. 2 Spring Arbor (Mich.) def. No. 7 Westmont (Calif.), 2-0
- No. 3 University of Northwestern Ohio def. Tennessee Wesleyan, 3-0
- For complete schedule, box scores and bracket, CLICK HERE.
- Appearing in their fourth-straight quarterfinal, No. 9 Benedictine (Kan.) took top seed Martin Methodist (Tenn.) to penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw. The Ravens advanced after a 5-3 advantage in penalty kicks and knock off Martin Methodist. Natalie Duque sealed the Ravens’ second overall semifinal appearance with her PK score to end the contest.
- Nicole Kelly posted her third goal of the year in the 37th minute for the Ravens.
- Benedictine enters the semifinals on an 11-match unbeaten streak (10-0-1). The Ravens lost in their only previous semifinal trip in 2015 – they fell to Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) by a 3-1 count.
- In the second quarterfinal, William Carey’s (Miss.) Savanah Carter finished with a goal and an assist in the 2-0 victory over No. 12 Southeastern (Fla.).
- In three championship matches this year, the fourth-seeded Lady Crusaders have out-scored their opponents by a 10-1 margin, including two shutouts.
- William Carey heads to its first-ever national semifinal in women’s soccer – the Lady Crusaders are now 11-8-1 in nine overall championship events.
- No. 2 Spring Arbor’s (Mich.) defense shut down No. 7 Westmont (Calif.) by a 2-0 score. The Cougars collected their 17th blanking of the year, which ranks second in the NAIA.
- The Cougars punched their third-straight semifinal ticket.
- The victory pushed Spring Arbor’s unbeaten streak to 16-straight wins or ties (15-0-1). The last loss on the year occurred Sept. 16 against Martin Methodist.
- Top seed University of Northwestern Ohio eliminated unseeded Tennessee Wesleyan by a 3-0 score in the final match. With the victory, the Racers find themselves in their fourth-straight semifinal – they have won their previous three semifinal matches.
- The defending national champions now have won eight-straight in the national championship dating back to 2016 and during that time frame, hold a 26-2 scoring edge.
- In the semifinals on Friday, Northwestern Ohio matches up with Spring Arbor in a rematch of the 2016 title bout.
- The two goals allowed by Tennessee Wesleyan is the most in nine matches going back to Oct. 17 against Georgia Gwinnett.
- Today, the higher seeds went 3-1-0. In Orange Beach, the higher seeds now stand 7-4-1 overall.
- After a day off on Thursday, the semifinal matches are scheduled for Friday beginning at Noon CST with No. 4 William Carey (Miss.) battling No. 9 Benedictine (Kan.).
How to Watch:
- The NAIA Network – the association’s official video streaming home – will broadcast all 15 matches live at the 2017 NAIA Women’s Soccer National Championship final site in Orange Beach, Ala. The video platform, powered by Stretch Internet, allows users access to live video, statistics, and social interaction on a number of devices, including mobile. Single day passes can be purchased for $9.95, while an all-championship tournament package is available at $29.95. For more information and to pre-register, click HERE.