LA MIRADA, CA -- The Eagles of Concordia defeated the Golden Eagles of John Brown (AR) by a score of 2-0 in the Opening Round of the NAIA National Championship at Al Barbour Field in La Mirada at Biola University on November 23. The Eagles entered the contest as the No. 8 seed in the field and ranked No. 4 in the final NAIA Coaches' Top 25 poll, while John Brown entered as the No. 25-seed ranked No. 22.
The Concordia Eagles started on the attack early and stayed aggressive throughout the match. The first three minutes of the contest saw both teams battling between the penalty boxes for possession. The Eagles quickly imposed their will afterwards, earning their first goal at the 6:03 mark. Megan Daniels took a long through ball up the middle and sent it past the keeper for her 11th goal of the season. Kendall Reekstin dealt her second assist of the season on the play as Daniels gave the Eagles a 1-0 advantage.
The Eagles maintained possession for much of the first half. Concordia took 13 shots and allowed the John Brown Golden Eagles no shots and only a single corner kick opportunity.
The Eagles kept the pressure on in the second half. Amanda Koman scored her first goal of the season at the 45:35 mark. Lauren Nanez sent it across from the lower right for the assist and Koman buried it past the keeper in the left slot.
The possession battle continued to be dominated by the Eagles for the rest of the match. The Eagles took 30 shots in the contest and placed 13 of them on goal, compared to just six shots by John Brown and only two on goal for the Golden Eagles. Jazmin Alvarez made both saves to pitch a shutout, her sixth of the year to go to 15-0-3.
Kristen Morency, an All-SAC keeper for the John Brown Golden Eagles, made 11 saves but received no help from the offensive unit. The Golden Eagles finish the season with a 14-4-3 record.
"We really wanted it today and were able to stick to what we are good at," Concordia defender Sammy Fillon said. "It's incredible and kind of surreal to be going to Alabama."
With the 2-0 win, the Eagles remain the only unbeaten team in the NAIA and move to 17-0-3 on the season. Concordia will travel to the Orange Beach Sportsplex in Orange Beach, AL to face the Rams of Mobile (AL) on Tuesday, December 3, in the Second Round of the NAIA National Championship. It marks the first trip to the NAIA Final Site in program history for Concordia. The Rams are the host team and received an Opening Round bye.
"We were just hungry today and nothing settles the nerves more than a goal in the first 10 minutes," Concordia head coach Chris Gould said. "It's great to be able to provide this for our team and they have earned it."
NeuLion, the NAIA's official video streaming company, will be broadcasting all final site games of the 2013 Women's Soccer National Championship in Orange Beach, Ala. Single day packages can be purchased for $9.95, while an all-tournament pass is available for $29.95. For more information and to pre-register, click here.