Lee women's soccer to play for 4th straight national title
DECATUR, Ala. (NAIA) - Eighth-seeded Concordia and third-seeded Lee punched their tickets to the title game of the 2011 NAIA Women's Soccer National Championship with national semifinal wins on Friday at Jack Allen Recreation Complex.
The Cavaliers posted a 4-0 shutout of fifth-seeded Point Loma Nazarene in the first game of the Final Four doubleheader, while the Lady Flames blanked Azusa Pacific 2-0 in the nightcap.
The national championship game between Concordia and Lee is set for a 5 p.m. CST kick on Saturday. The two teams met previously in the 2008 finale, which was also the first of three-straight championships for the Lady Flames. They are aiming to become the first NAIA women's soccer program ever to win four-consecutive titles.
"We're definitely aware of the fourth," said Lee head coach Matt Yelton. "We definitely know what we're chasing tomorrow night, but it is something we did not focus on until after this game. We're going to have to go through a great Concordia team to achieve our goals. I think we've got a group of girls that are committed to accomplishing the goal that we set out at the beginning of the year and that was to defend a national championship."
The championship will also be the second meeting this season between the Cavaliers and the Lady Flames (22-2). On Aug. 25, Lee traveled to Concordia and picked up a 1-0 victory.
In Friday's semifinal, Ode Fulutudilu led a charge down the field and connected with Ashley Aragona for Lee's first goal and a 1-0 lead at the 20:34 mark of the first half.
The advantage stood until midway through the second half when Jordan Woody scored off of an assist from Leah Fortune for a 2-0 advantage with 16:10 left on the clock. That goal clinched the win and shut the Cougars out for the fourth time this season.
"It's really rewarding to beat a team the caliber of Azusa Pacific," Yelton said. "You talk about the history of the NAIA and you talk about great programs and Azusa Pacific is one the programs that comes to mind. To go out and get the win tonight, I think it is something that we will really treasure. As much as we get to enjoy this, we will for about 30 minutes and then focus on tomorrow."