No. 3 Saints First to Punch Ticket to NCAA Sectionals

No. 3 Saints First to Punch Ticket to NCAA Sectionals

By: B.J. Pheasant, Assistant Soccer Coach

(CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky.) – The third-ranked Thomas More College women's soccer team hosted 22nd-ranked, and 2014 national champion, Lynchburg College in the second round game of the NCAA tournament on Saturday, November 12th. With the 1-0 final score line the Saints improve to 22-0-1 overall and become the first team in the country move to the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament. The third and fourth round games will be held November 19th and 20th with a chance to be held at BB&T Field. With the loss Lynchburg College falls to 15-3-3.

"I am very proud of how these young women competed today against a very good opponent," said TMC head coach Jeff Cummings. "The defensive effort was superb for 90 minutes."

It was a bright chilly fall day for this clash of top 25 teams. Looking to avoid a repeat of the previous game's slow start Laura Felix (Burlington, Ky./St. Henry) beat opponents to the top of the box for a shot in the 3rd minute. In the 10th minute Taylor Robinson (Alexandria, Ky./Campbell County) drove half the field to earn a free kick just outside the box. The chance went for naught as it was shot just over the cross bar.

Much of the first half occurred in the middle third as two determined teams battled for supremacy. In the 36th minute a Saints corner kick carried danger for the Hornets. In the 39th minute a deflected Lynchburg shot gave goal keeper Megan Barton (Florence, Ky./Villa Madonna) one of her four saves on the way to a nationally leading 19th shutout of the year for Thomas More.

To start the second half Felix earned a corner kick two minutes in, which was played out by the defense. The Saints recycled the ball and Emily Cummings (Cincinnati, Ohio/Glen Este) put in a searching ball where none other than the inimitable Erika LaRosa (Cincinnati, Ohio/Seton) got on the end of it and a looping header resulted, which beat the Lynchburg goal keeper for a 1-0 Saints lead.

In the 72nd minute Jordan Wuest (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West) did her job well as post defender on a corner kick. She cleared a resulting shot off the line to preserve the margin. Defending was tough as Lynchburg pressed forward in the final minutes, however, the Saints prevailed 1-0.

The third and fourth rounds of the NCAA tournament will be played on November 19th and 20th. There is a chance, depending on the geographical location of other pod winners; the next round of games will be played in Crestview Hills, Kentucky on the campus of Thomas More College. The Saints opponent will be determined by the results of pods being played in other regions. If you aren't able to make it out to the game live video and stats are available with links found on TMCSaints.com on the women's soccer schedule page updated as information becomes available.