2019 NAIA Women’s Soccer National Championship Opening Round Day Two Recap
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – (Opening Round Schedule | Bracket) The 2019 NAIA Women’s Soccer National Championship Opening Round crowned 15 champions at each site on Saturday, which will all join Mobile (Ala.) at the final site in Orange Beach, Ala.
Three matches were decided by penalty kicks on Saturday as the final field was set. Vanguard (Calif.), Rocky Mountain (Mont.) and Eastern Oregon all grabbed wins in the shootout.
12 of the 15 top seeds survived to advance to the final site, while Rocky Mountain was the lone No. 3-seeded team to claim its opening round championship. Eastern Oregon and Grace (Ind.) also won their brackets.
This year’s opening round field included 26 automatic qualifiers, 19 at-large selections and one host berth. Automatic berths were given to teams that either won their respective conference tournament title, regular-season championship or finished runner-up at the conference tournament. The at-large bids were determined by the Soccer National Selection Committee. This committee consists of one representative from each geographical area, a representative from the National Administrative Council, the president of the NAIA-Women’s Soccer Coaches Association, and three at-large members. The committee evaluated teams throughout the year on various criteria.
Day One Highlights
- The largest margin of victory occurred in the first game of the day as No. 2 overall seed Keiser (Fla.) defeated The Master’s (Calif.) 8-1. Matilda Ovenberger netted three goals in the match. It was the sophomore’s fourth hat trick of the season.
- Northwestern Ohio’s Kate Agyemang scored the game winner in the 48th minute to lead Northwestern Ohio to a victory over Cumberland (Tenn.). The Racers held the Phoenix to just one shot on goal in the match.
- Central Methodist (Mo.) stayed undefeated on the season after exploding for four, second-half goals over Aquinas (Mich.) to grab a 5-1 win. Judith Sainz and Anika Kallash both recorded two goals in the match for the Eagles.
- Southern Oregon’s Maddie Casey put her Raiders up 1-0 on the top-seeded William Carey (Miss.) in the second minute, but the Crusaders answered to a tune of four consecutive goals to advance with a 4-1 win. Ana Paula Santos tied the match at one in the 42nd minute before Rebecca Delgado’s first goal in the 51st minute became the difference. Delgado had two goals in the match.
- Indiana Wesleyan’s Lexis Garcia scored in the 60th minute against Georgia Gwinnett to break a 0-0 tie. Her goal became the game winner as Kristy Bowden added an insurance tally in the 74th minute. For Garcia, it was her team-leading 16th goal of the season.
- Martin Methodist (Tenn.) scored two goals on nine shots on goal and held Columbia (Mo.) scoreless to advance to Orange Beach with a 2-0 victory. Laila Espamer’s goal in the 17th minute stood-up as the winner.
- Kira Nemeth assisted on both Westmont (Calif.) goals as the Warriors held Marymount California to zero shots on goal in a 2-0 win. Westmont’s Gabi Haw recorded her 11th shutout of the season in the contest.
- Grace (Ind.) became the first non-No. 1 seed at an opening round in 2019 to punch its ticket to Orange Beach with a thrilling 1-0 overtime victory over Benedictine (Kan.). The Lady Lancers’ JJ Aalbue netted the winner in the 98th minute while goalkeeper Bethany Blackwood recorded a six-save shutout.
- Embry-Riddle (Ariz.)’s Katy Hyde scored the equalizer against Vanguard (Calif.) in the 60th minute, but it was the Lions that finished on top in PK’s. Haley Magana stopped four of five Embry-Riddle shots in the shootout.
- Rocky Mountain (Mont.) donned its Cinderella slippers on Saturday and became the first No. 3-seed at an opening round in 2019 to advance to Alabama. The Battlin’ Bears held Midland (Neb.) scoreless for 110 minutes in a 0-0 draw that went to PK’s. Rocky found the back of the net three times as Haley Nicholson finished things off with the final penalty kick goal. Goalkeeper Maia Wetzel stopped the final two Midland shots in the shootout to lead her team to the win.
- Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) scored 44 seconds into the second half against Spring Arbor (Mich.) and defended the lead successfully in a 1-0 victory. In a match that was nearly statistically even, the Blue Raiders broke through with Flavia Laich’s goal in the 46th minute of the contest.
- Bania Duran netted the game winner for Southeastern (Fla.) in the 86th minute to send the Fire back to Alabama. Southeastern will return to battle for a red banner with all-time NAIA leading goal scorer Uchenna Kanu set to complete her senior season in the process.
- Marian (Ind.) held Hastings (Neb.) to just two shots on goal in 2-0 victory. Alexis Patenaude collected her eighth shutout of the year.
- Science & Arts (Okla.) netted the first two goals against Oklahoma Wesleyan and used the momentum to grab a 3-2 win over Oklahoma Wesleyan. Mackenzie Holub posted both the second and third goals for the Drover’s in the win.
- Eastern Oregon provided the fireworks late into the Arkansas night as the Mountaineers overcame a 0-0 draw to win it over John Brown (Ark.) 3-2 in PK’s. Camie Edgington scored in what proved to be the goal that advanced her team to Orange Beach.
Don’t miss a minute of any NAIA Championship this season. Buy your All-Championship Pass today.