The Eagles' 2013 season has come to a close in a Quarterfinal matchup against top-seed and defending national champion Lindsey Wilson, as Concordia fell 2-0 in a valiant effort.
Defending national champion and top-ranked Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) continued its quest for a fourth national title with a 2-0 victory over No. 8 Concordia (Calif.). Lindsey Wilson, who has now outscored its opponents 13-1 in this year's event, opened the scoring in the 24th minute when Natasha Gensetter beat the Eagles' goalkeeper far post for her 12th goal of the season. The Blue Raiders sealed the win in the 77th minute on an Ayaki Shinada free kick from just outside of the penalty area. With the win, Lindsey Wilson improves to 16-5-1 all-time as the No. 1 seed and advances to the semifinals for the eighth time since 2001. Concordia, who entered the game as the NAIA's only remaining unbeaten team, ends its season with an 18-1-3 record.
For the first time since seeding began in 2000, the top four teams advance to the semifinals of the 2013 NAIA Women's Soccer National Championship, presented by the Sports Medicine Center at Orthopaedic Group, P.C., with quarterfinal victories.
The Eagles played well over the course of the match and left everything they had on the field, and the scoreboard did not reflect the effort Concordia exerted to keep it close. The first half was a hard-fought struggle for both teams as Concordia played clean, aggressive defense on the Blue Raiders' forwards.
The second half was more of the same as both teams vied for possession in the middle of the field. The final twenty minutes of the match was a furious rally for Concordia as they took the majority of their shots and put two off the crossbar and one just over the goal within the last five minutes of the match.
Concordia played well as a unit up and down and across the field, with each player giving all they had. Jazmin Alvarez saved three of five, including a beautiful diving fingertip save to keep the score at 1-0 early in the second half.
Head coach Chris Gould was proud of the season and his team in their final match. He spoke highly of the mark they made on the program, saying, "These girls have changed our program. On the field, off the field, with their togetherness, they're the best team we've had. They do things the right way. We won GSAC, went undefeated for twenty games, and we were in this game. We put two off the crossbar in the final five minutes and hung with the best team in the nation. You can't control the outcome, but we controlled our effort and worked hard for each other. I think this group did an incredible job this year."
Lindsey Wilson took 13 shots and put five on frame, as Concordia took seven and placed one on goal. Lindsey Wilson eliminates the Eagles and will advance to semifinals to face No. 4 seed Concordia (Ore.).
The Eagles close a record-setting 2013 season with an 16-0-3 regular-season record and a 2-1 record in post-season play for a 18-1-3 finish. The Eagles had many firsts this season, including their first GSAC Regular-Season and Tournament Championships, their first National Tournament appearance, and their first Quarterfinals appearance. A full season wrap will come shortly.
NeuLion, the NAIA's official video-streaming company of select NAIA national championship events, will be broadcasting all 15 matches of the 2013 Men's Soccer National Championship in Montgomery, Ala. Don't miss any of the action that runs from Dec. 2 - 7. 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.