2015 Women?s Soccer National Championship Final Recap
By Scott Barker, Communications and Sports Information Intern
ORANGE BEACH, Ala. – (Box Score | Bracket | Schedule) No. 6 Spring Arbor (Mich.) used two first-half goals to secure its first national championship as the Cougars defeated top-seeded Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 3-0. With the title at the 32nd annual NAIA National Championship in Orange Beach, Ala., the Cougars become the 13th program to win a women’s soccer title.
“Our defense has really come a long way this year,” said Spring Arbor Head Coach Jason Crist. “They are playing confidently and all together. All credit to Lindsey Wilson as they are a fantastic program. They are the bench mark for NAIA soccer and for us to get a 3-0 victory over them in the final is just a huge accomplishment.”
In seven national championship appearances, Spring Arbor (22-2-1) secures its first-ever national title.
The first half was all Spring Arbor from the opening whistle. The Cougars got their first goal in the 13th minute as Bethany Balcer dribbled her way through the Blue Raiders defense and left the ball to Aubrey Schierbeek who put the ball in the back of the net.
The Cougars got their second goal 1:29 later when Bethany Balcer headed home a goal off a corner kick from Sarah Klunder.
The rest of the first half was a defensive battle as neither team had much of a scoring chance.
The Cougars finished the first half with four shots with two being on target whereas, the Blue Raiders recorded four shots with none being on target.
The second half was more even as the action was back and forth.
Spring Arbor received another goal from Bethany Balcer in the 53rd minute to give the Cougars the 3-0 lead, which ended up as the final score.
With the 17 goals this postseason, Lindsey Wilson ties Westmont (Calif.) (2003) with the most goals in a single national tournament.
Bethany Balcer, NAIA Championship Most Valuable Player, finished the tournament with a team-high in goals (5) and points (12).
The Championship Outstanding Offensive Player, Yvonne Ploeg, recorded a tournament-high six goals and also added two assists. Her 14 total points was also a tournament best.
Outstanding Defensive Player went to Spring Arbor’s goalkeeper, Sarah Yancer, who recorded 16 saves en route to five shutouts.
Spring Arbor outshot Lindsey Wilson by a count of 11-6 including 8-2 shots on goal.
“We played great team defense from the front to the back,” mentioned Crist. “We have been able to capitalize early in matches and play from ahead. That makes things a lot easier and we made Lindsey [Wilson] chase tonight and we were able to stay organize and keep them off the scoreboard. I have tremendous respect for the Blue Raiders and for Drew.”
2015 NAIA Women’s Soccer National Championship – All-Tournament Team
|Sarah Yancer||Spring Arbor (Mich.)||GK||Fr.|
|Carola Schneider||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||D||Jr.|
|Liz Enna||Benedictine (Kan.)||D||Sr.|
|April Stewart||William Carey (Miss.)||D||Fr.|
|Kristina Sobel||Spring Arbor (Mich.)||D||Sr.|
|Klara Cahynova||Northwestern Ohio||MF||So.|
|Amanda Kander||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||MF||So.|
|Rosie McShane||Benedictine (Kan.)||MF||So.|
|Bethany Balcer||Spring Arbor (Mich.)||MF||Fr.|
|Corrie Good||Spring Arbor (Mich.)||F||Jr.|
|Lyana Perez||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||F||Jr.|
|Ashley Chandler||Benedictine (Kan.)||F||Sr.|
|Yvonne Ploeg||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||F||Fr.|
Select Sport America-NAIA Championship Most Valuable Player
Bethany Balcer, Spring Arbor (Mich.)
Select Sport America-NAIA Championship Outstanding Offensive Player
Yvonne Ploeg, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)
Select Sport America-NAIA Championship Outstanding Defensive Player
Sarah Yancer, Spring Arbor (Mich.)
Champions of Character Select Sport America-NAIA Scholarship Recipient
Kacey McConagha, Embry-Riddle (Ariz.)