A crowd of nearly 850 people turned out for the NAIA National Championship Opening Round women's soccer game between Siena Heights University and Spring Arbor University tonight, and the match did not disappoint.
Spring Arbor used a goal from Maegan Smith
midway through the first half to seal the 1-0 result and punch their ticket to the NAIA National Championship final site in Decatur, Alabama. The marker was Smith's 25th of the season, tying the SAU single season goal record held by Katie Sayler (2007). Smith's roommate, Megan Wegener
was credited with an assist on the play, after she picked off a Siena clearance and beat her marker around the corner before serving the ball across to Smith.
Spring Arbor out-shot their visitors 19-10 for the evening, including an 11-2 bulge in the first half of play. Karly Linton
was an offensive force throughout the night for Spring Arbor and registered a game high six shots.
The Cougar's back four of Becca Lynn
, Hannah Adams
, Alyssa Curtis
and Cheyenne Martinez-Trevino
did a good job limiting the Saint's chances throughout the night. Sophomore keeper Brooklyn Morgan
picked up three saves to secure the shutout.
"Siena had good speed on the wide parts of the field and played very hard," commented SAU head coach Jason Crist
. "It was a physical game and our players worked hard for the result. I am proud of them."
#9 Spring Arbor (19-2-1) will face off with the #8 seed, Concordia (OR) (15-4-1) who dispatched of Westminster (UT) 1-0 in their opening round game tonight. The two teams have never met in women's soccer. Concordia posted a 19-2-1 record last season and finished 2010 as the #1 ranked team in the NAIA top 25 polls. The game will kick off at 1:30 p.m. EST on Tuesday, November 29th. More details will be released as they become available.