No. 7 Columbus State Women’s Soccer Prepares to Host First and Second Rounds in NCAA Championship
COLUMBUS – The top seed in the Southeast Region of the Division II Women's Soccer Championship, Columbus State will play host to the first and second round matches on November 12 and 14. In first round play, No. 4 Lenoir-Rhyne will face off against No. 5 Belmont Abbey at 5:00 p.m. at the Walden Soccer Complex on the campus of Columbus State. The Lady Cougars received a first round bye and will play the winner of tonight's matchup on Sunday with kickoff set for 12:00 p.m.
Lenoir-Rhyne received the South Atlantic Conference automatic bid by winning their conference Tournament Championship last weekend. The Bears scored the first three goals of the match on their way to a 3-1 victory. Kaelia Frazier, Audrey Moore and Laura Linehan all scored a goal while Elizabeth Hawes picked up a pair of assists. It has been a year of firsts for Lenoir Rhyne as they won their first-ever regular season and post-season SAC Championship and will be appearing in the NCAA Tournament for the first time as well. LR has a balanced offensive attack that has five different players who have scored at least six goals led by Amber Holt's eight goals. Moore is the team leader with six assists. Lenoir-Rhyne enters the contest with a 16-2-1 record and has a 3-0 record at neutral sites this season.
Belmont Abbey received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament after falling to Pfeiffer in the Conference Carolinas Championship game 9-8 in a penalty kick shootout. The two sides tied 2-2 through 110 minutes of play. It will be the Crusaders fifth appearance in the tournament and second straight year coming to Columbus for the tournament. They dropped a 5-0 decision to Armstrong Atlantic State last year in the opening round. Belmont Abbey is led offensively by Connie Axiotis who has 10 goals and three others who have at least six goals. Kristin Foster paces the team with nine assists. The Crusaders have an overall record of 17-1-3.
The two sides squared off earlier in the year which ended in a scoreless draw. Lenoir-Rhyne had the advantage on the stat sheet outshooting BA 13-5 and holding a 7-2 edge in corner kicks