Big South Announces Women's Soccer Championship Seedings

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (www.BigSouthSports.com) - Radford and Winthrop finished the Big South's women's soccer regular-season season with identical 8-2-0 League records for 24 points, the second consecutive year both programs have tied for the co-championship.  With Radford winning the head-to-head meeting with the Eagles earlier this season, the Highlanders receive the No. 1 seed in next week's Big South Women's Soccer Championship presented by Musco Sports Lighting, which will be contested at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, S.C.  Radford is the No. 1 seed for the first time since 1999 and the second time in school history.

Winthrop is the No. 2 seed in the championship, ahead of new member Campbell, which garnered the No. 3 seed with its 7-1-2 League record (23 points).  High Point landed the No. 4 seed with 20 points during the Conference season (6-2-2 record), while Liberty (5-4-1) claimed the No. 5 seed with 16 points (5-4-1), followed by Gardner-Webb at No. 6 with 14 points (4-4-2).  Tournament host Charleston Southern (4-5-1) notched the No. 7 seed with 13 points, with UNC Asheville claiming the No. 8 seed with its final Conference record of 3-7-0 (nine points) to round out the eight-team championship field.

Presbyterian College (2-6-2) finished ninth in the Conference standings with eight points but is not eligible for the Championship due to its transition to Division I.  Coastal Carolina finished 10th in the League with seven points (2-7-1) followed by VMI in 11th-place with its 0-9-1 Conference record.
 
The 2011 Big South Women's Soccer Championship presented by Musco Sports Lighting begins Thursday, Nov. 3 with four quarterfinal matches and concludes with the Championship contest on Sunday, Nov. 6 at 2:00pm.  The Big South's Tournament champion receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Women's Soccer Championship.  All games will be video streamed live on the Conference's broadband channel, the Big South Network presented by State Farm.  In-game statistics will be available on www.BigSouthSports.com and www.csusports.com.  The Conference Championship schedule is as follows:

Thursday, Nov. 3 - Quarterfinals
Match 1:  No. 4 seed High Point vs. No. 5 seed Liberty, 11:30am ET
Match 2:  No. 1 seed Radford vs. No. 8 seed UNC Asheville, 2:00pm ET
Match 3:  No. 3 seed Campbell vs. No. 6 seed Gardner-Webb, 4:30pm ET
Match 4:  No. 2 seed Winthrop vs. No. 7 seed Charleston Southern, 7:00pm ET
 
(The bracket has been adjusted to allow the host institution to play in the late match on the first day).

Friday, Nov. 4 - Semifinals
Match 5:  Match 1 winner vs. Match 2 winner, 4:30pm ET
Match 6:  Match 3 winner vs. Match 4 winner, 7:00pm ET

Sunday, Nov. 6 - Championship
Match 7:  Match 5 winner vs. Match 6 winner, 2:00pm ET



Campbell 2, Radford 1

Box Score

BUIES CREEK - Taylor Brown converted a penalty kick with 3:12 remaining in regulation to break a 1-1 tie and give the Camels a win over league-leading Radford (13-5-0, 8-2-0 BSC) in the final game of the regular season. After trailing for much of the first half, Campbell (13-4-2, 7-1-2 BSC) got a late first half goal and controlled possession for much of the second half.

The two teams battled in the midfield for control of the ball during much of the opening 15 minutes of play. The Highlanders struck first when Sahar Aflaki scored off assists from Sydney Golden and Maryellen Derenda to give RU a 1-0 advantage.

Campbell drew even just before the half when Michelle Procaccinii collected a free ball at the top of the box and fired a shot past Radford keeper Che' Brown at the 43:03 mark. Procaccini's third goal of the season sent the team's into halftime even at one goal apiece. RU held a slight 4-3 advantage in shots.

CU played much more aggressively on offense in the second half, finishing with a 12-4 advantage in shots, but the Camels were unable to finish any scoring opportunities. When Radford was called for a foul in the box with just over three minutes remaining, Taylor Brown nailed the penalty kick into the right corner of the net past a diving Brown to give Campbell the 2-1 lead. The goal was the first in the defender's career at Campbell.

Pirjo Leppikangas led the Camels offensive attack with seven shots, putting four of those on goal. Kirsty Meyer, Ashley Clark and Annabelle Gibney all added two shots apiece. Ryann Torrero made three saves in net for CU.

With the victory, CU finishes alone in third place in the Big South Conference regular season. The team will travel to Charleston, S.C. next week for the conference tournament. The Camels will face sixth-seeded Gardner-Webb on Thursday, Nov. 3 at Blackbaud Stadium. Game time is set for 4:30 p.m.

Presbyterian College 1, High Point 0

Box Score

CLINTON, S.C. - Sara Simpson provided the goal and Sarah Beth Anderson provided the saves in a season finale to remember for the Presbyterian College women's soccer team as the Blue Hose shut out High Point on Senior Night, 1-0.

PC ends the year at 4-13-2 overall and 2-6-2 in Big South Conference play. High Point falls to 8-9-3 on the year and 6-2-2 in league action.

The Blue Hose earn their first win in a season finale since a 1-0 victory over Charleston Southern on November 1, 2008.

In a tale of two halves, Simpson scored the game's only goal when she put PC on the scoreboard in the 30th minute. Positioned in the goal box, Simpson attempted a shot that struck the right post. The sophomore tracked down the rebound and cashed in from in close to give PC the lead on her team-leading fourth goal of the season.

The Blue Hose controlled the run of play in the first half, holding the Panthers without a shot on goal while tallying five of their own.

The second half told a different story as High Point shook off a slow start and began to find scoring chances. The Panthers tested Anderson 10 times in the second half and the senior stopped every shot, racking up 10 saves to add to her single-season and career records. Anderson ends the year with a record 114 saves for the season and 296 for her career, the most in program history. The clean sheet also marked the ninth of her career.

Anderson's most spectacular save came on a Katie Taber shot midway through the second half. Taber launched a rocket from outside the box and Anderson made a diving save to her right to knock the ball out of bounds and keep the Panthers scoreless.

Senior defender Jessica Kramer also contributed a timely defensive play for the Blue Hose. High Point's Becca Hemby took a shot at an open portion of net during a scramble in the box but Kramer blocked the attempt on the goal line to keep the shutout intact.

PC withstood the pressure as the time wound down and Gracie Boswell put a shot on net in the 85th minute while looking for an insurance score. Anderson then made two more saves after the Blue Hose chance to help PC seal the win, 1-0.

Simpson lead the team with four shots on the night. Simpson, Boswell and Lauren Snyder each posted two shots on goal.

The team honored seniors Anderson, Kramer, Snyder and Morgan Fragapane prior to the start of the match.

Gardner-Webb 1, Coastal Carolina 0

Box Score

Conway, S.C. - Gardner-Webb got a first period goal from senior Stephanie Benshoof and held the host Chanticleers scoreless in taking a 1-0 win Saturday afternoon.

With the win, the Runnin' Bulldogs improve to 6-7-2 overall this season. GWU will carry a 4-4-2 Big South record into the conference tournament next week. Coastal Carolina falls to 2-15-2 overall and 2-7-1 in the Big South.

GWU, after going winless in its first five conference matches, rebounded to win four of its final five games to ensure a Big South tournament berth, taking place Nov. 3-6 at Charleston Southern.

Both offenses had difficulty finding open space in the first half, with the two teams combining for just five shots in the opening period. Four of those came from Chanticleers, but GWU's defense led by freshman Addison Abee, senior Tina Frost, and sophomore Erika Lenns kept Coastal Carolina off the board.

GWU broke through on its only shot attempt of the first half, as Benshoof struck a ball off a free kick from 30 yards out that crossed from right to left and found the back of the net past Chanticleer keeper Saundra Baron. The senior from Huntersville, N.C. came off the bench to score her first goal of the season to put the Runnin' Bulldogs on top 1-0.

That would be all Lenns and the Runnin' Bulldog defensive third would need, as the visitors from Boiling Springs kept the Chanticleers from scoring. Lenns was particularly strong in preserving the 1-0 GWU lead, recording a save in the 58th minute on a shot by Coastal Carolina's Chelsea Strange.

Gardner-Webb continued to fight to preserve its lead late in the second half. Lenns made a key save in the 87th minute on a shot by Christina Stern

In the match, Gardner-Webb was able to make the most of its offensive opportunities, taking three shots in the match, with Benshoof's brilliant goal the only shot on frame.

GWU turns its attention to the Big South Tournament, which will take place Nov. 3-6 on the campus of Charleston Southern University. The tournament will be live-streamed courtesy of the Big South Conference for a small fee.

Liberty 3, UNC Asheville 0

Box Score

ASHEVILLE, N.C. - The Liberty women's soccer team closed out regular-season play, Saturday afternoon, defeating UNC Asheville, 3-0.

Freshman Geena Swentik led the Lady Flames with two goals, followed by Aimee Luurtsema, who finished with one goal and one assist. Dawn Elmers also added an assist in the contest.

With the victory, Liberty concludes the regular season 8-7-3 overall and 5-4-1 in Big South play. UNC Asheville falls to 4-15 on the year and 3-7 in conference action.

Liberty lit up the scoreboard in the 19th minute to take the early 1-0 lead. Elmers dished it to Luurtsema, who broke away from the Asheville defense and finished on the play for her fourth goal of the season. Luurtsema's goal ties her for third all-time in career goals at Liberty with 20 and places her fourth on the school's career points list with 49.

The Lady Flames' second goal occurred in the 31st minute. Ariana Espinoza fired a shot at the UNC Asheville net, but goalkeeper Heather Muller was there to make the save. However, as the ball deflected off Muller, Swentik connected on a header for her third goal of the season. Swenitk's goal gave Liberty a 2-0 lead heading into halftime.

Swentik was not done on the afternoon, as she netted another goal in the second half. During the 67th minute, Luurtsema fed a pass to the freshman, who blasted it from 30 yards out into the UNC Asheville net, capping the scoring in the Lady Flames' 3-0 victory.

Liberty outshot the Bulldogs, 12-7, in the contest and held a 6-3 advantage in corner kicks. Karen Blocker finished the contest with one save, recording her 12th career shutout and fifth on the year. Muller made three saves on the afternoon for the Bulldogs.

Liberty will now prepare for the Big South Championship, which will take place at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, S.C., Nov. 3-6. Seedings will be announced after the conclusion of the final Conference game, tonight.

Winthrop 3, Charleston Southern 0

Box Score

N. CHARLESTON, SC - Krystyna Freda scored all three goals and recorded her second hat trick of the season on Saturday afternoon as the Winthrop women's soccer team defeated the Charleston Southern Buccaneers 3-0 at Buccaneer Field.

The Eagles improve to 12-6 overall and 8-2 in the Big South, while the Buccaneers fall to 9-8-1 on the season and 4-3-1 in conference play.

Both teams remained scoreless throughout most of the first half until Freda put Winthrop in front 1-0 during the 41st minute on her 14th goal of the season. Freda played the through ball near side by Rachel Webster leaving her one-on-one against Charleston Southern goalkeeper Amy Arroyo. She chipped her shot just inside the 18-yard box over the head of Arroyo and into the net.

Freda's second goal of the match, and 15th of the year, would put the Eagles up 2-0 with 26 seconds remaining in the opening half. Webster, again, found Freda for the goal as her pass went back post and by Arroyo. Freda saved the ball from going out of bounds by taking a shot with her right leg and scoring into the open net.

The hat trick by Freda was completed in the 54th minute on a free kick from 19 yards out far side after a foul was called on the Buccaneers after a defender passed the ball back to Arroyo and she picked it up. Kylene Babauta was credited with the assist as she initially tapped the ball prior to Freda taking the shot. The shot by Freda went around the Charleston Southern wall that was set up right in front of the goal and went in right side. The goal by Freda was her 16th of the season and put Winthrop ahead 3-0.

It was the third hat trick of the season for the Eagles as Freda picked up her first career hat trick in the team's conference opener at Gardner-Webb on Sept. 27, and Courtney Durbin also recorded the first hat trick of her career against Liberty on Oct. 8.

Freda led Winthrop offensively with six shots on the afternoon, while goalies Sarah Schippers and Kelsy Weavil combined for the shutout. Schippers had six saves and Weavil with three. Allison Lewis attempted a team-high six shots for the Buccaneers, and Arroyo finished with three saves.

The Eagles will participate in the 2011 Big South Women's Soccer Championship presented by Musco Sports Lighting next week, Nov. 3-6, at Blackbaud Stadium.