Lee Wins Third-Straight NAIA Women's Soccer National Championship
Dec. 4, 2010
Contact: Amanda Dahl, NAIA Manager of Sports Information & Media Services, email@example.com
DECATUR, Ala. -(Final Bracket) Lee (Tenn.) captured its third-straight NAIA Women’s Soccer National Championship, defeating Hastings (Neb.) 3-0 Saturday in the 27th annual event Saturday at Jack Allen Complex. The title is the third for the Lady Flames in four National Championship game appearances and they are just the second program to three-peat. Westmont (Calif.) accomplished the feat 2001-03. Lee has now taken home the banner in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
“To be honest, I don think that words can express how this feels,” Lee head women’s soccer coach Matt Yelton said. “This is a special group; these girls are just amazing. Of the three that we have won, this was the toughest and it is very special for me. Our half of the bracket was extremely tough and to make it out on top and hold the National Championship trophy really is an accomplishment.”
Lee ends its championship season with a record of 22-2-1, shutting out 15 opponents and winning its last six in-a-row. Outside of a 0-0 tie to Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) on Nov. 11, the Lady Flames rode an 18-match unbeaten streak dating back to Sept. 18. Lee outscored its opposition 14-1 in five games played in the National Championship.
Hastings advanced to the title game in just its second appearance in the event, a run that included upsets of the Nos. 16, 1 and 9-seeded teams. After starting out the season with a 1-4-1 record through the first six games, the Broncos went on to win 14-straight matches. They close out their campaign with a record of 17-5-3.
“Even though Hastings wasn’t seeded, we prepared for a team that we knew was fully capable of getting the win,” Yelton said.
Freshman Danielle Ciabattone was in the right place at the right time to get Lee on the scoreboard as the first half came to a close. She intercepted a pass between two Hastings defenders at the top of the box and fired, sending the ball beyond Broncos keeper Megan Kreifels for the 1-0 advantage at the 43:28 mark.
“The goal before half time was big, especially by a freshman,” Yelton said. “At halftime I told the team that it was going to be about who wants it more and who is going to dig deeper in the second half. We had worked hard all week, playing three games in three days. I told them that we can’t let this game get away from us in the final 45 minutes.”
Yelton’s team played to his halftime speech. Senior Samantha Hare gave the Lady Flames a 2-0 advantage at the game’s 63:15 mark, shooting a pass from junior Jamie Achten from the upper right-hand corner of the box to the opposite side of the net. The goal was Hare’s third while playing in Decatur.
Twenty minutes later a third goal was added as sophomore Kim Conrad and Achten teamed together off of a corner kick to find freshman Ode Fulutudilu, who netted the ball for the 3-0 lead and eventual win.
The Lady Flames held a 14-6 shot advantage on the Broncos, including a 6-4 edge in shots on goal. All four of Hastings looks came in the first half, including a pair from junior Jessica Carlson.
Kreifels made three saves in 90 minutes of work in goal for Hastings and Lee’s Kristi Koudelka warded off four scoring attempts.
Koudelka, Hare and Achten each earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team for the Lady Flames. Junior defender Rebecca Glisan and Carlson were represented for Hastings. Carlson was tabbed as the Outstanding Offensive Player, Koudelka the Outstanding Defensive Player and Hare took home Most Valuable Player honors.
|2010 All-Tournament Team|
|Samantha Hare||D||Lee (Tenn.)|
|Rebecca Glisan||D||Hastings (Neb.)|
|Delina Papa||D||Azusa Pacific (Calif.)|
|Carly Dickens||D||Baker (Kan.)|
|Linda Mathisen||MF||Robert Morris (Ill.)|
|Bernadette Witz||MF||California Baptist|
|Danielle Doerfler||MF||William Jewell (Mo.)|
|Jordan Dolbin||MF||Baker (Kan.)|
|Laura Feehs||F||Azusa Pacific (Calif.)|
|Jamie Achten||F||Lee (Tenn.)|
|Jessica Carlson||F||Hastings (Neb.)|
|Natalia Nino||F||William Carey (Miss.)|
Outstanding Offensive Player
Jessica Carlson, Hastings (Neb.)
Outstanding Defensive Player
Kristi Koudelka, Lee (Tenn.)
Most Valuable Player
Samantha Hare, Lee (Tenn.)