Carson-Newman 2, West Florida
Carson-Newman 2, West Florida 0Nov. 20, 2005
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. -- For the second consecutive season, the Carson-Newman Lady Eagles will be "deep in the heart of Texas" as they advanced to the NCAA Division II Final Four with a 2-0 win over West Florida Sunday afternoon at McCown Field.
The Lady Eagles scored a goal in each half for the victory. Rebecca Angus (Middlesborough, England) scored an unassisted goal at the 23:16 mark of the first half when she appeared to be setting up for a long cross but instead fired a shot into the top right portion of the net for the matches' first score. "I got into a good position and just kicked in a screamer," Angus said of her goal. "I think that first goal took a lot of pressure off our shoulders and put pressure on West Florida."
Carson-Newman added an insurance goal in the 71st minute when freshman Brittany Moore (Lenoir City, Tenn.) took an assist from Angus and re-directed a shot into the back of the net on the left side. "To get that second goal was a big stress reliever," Moore said. "When we went up 2-0, it was a good feeling."
The Lady Eagles out-shot the Argonauts 18-10 and had 13 corner kicks to West Florida's four. C-N goalkeeper Nyssa Griffin (Adelaide, Australia) had seven saves for the Lady Eagles and Klara Vrbova (Brno, Czech Republic) had eight for West Florida. "I am very happy with how I played," Griffin said. "I seemed to grow more confident as the match went on. I had some great saves and the other defensive players were awesome today."
"This is an absolutely outstanding feeling," Carson-Newman head coach Philip McNamara said after the match. "We wanted to play hard from the beginning and wanted to establish our tempo. Our girls really lived up to the expectations I had today. We had a good game plan and our bench players did well. They knew what we wanted to do when they went onto the field and every one of them had an outstanding performance today."
McNamara is looking forward to his team's second trip to the Final Four in as many years. "We knew with the success we had last year, we would have a target on us this season. We had some losses but the ladies dug deep and worked harder to get themselves ready for the NCAA Tournament. Once the pairings were announced and we knew we had made it back, we knew we wanted to make it to the Final Four and we are thrilled to be going to Texas again."
The Lady Eagles have been led by the play of their two seniors, Jenny Bock (Stevensville, Mich.) and Heather Miller (Franklin, Ohio). Both knew they wanted to return to Texas after experiencing the Final Four in 2004. "I think Heather and I were a little nervous at mid-season," Bock said. "We had some losses and after making it (to the Final Four) last year, you want it again. As a senior, we don't want to leave anything behind. I think we have played our best soccer in the last four matches and we have earned on the field the right to go back to Texas again." Miller echoed Bock's feelings, stating "I think we are very solid right now. We know it will be tough again at the Final Four but we are looking forward to playing there again."
West Florida head coach Joe Bartlinski said the Lady Eagles established the tempo of the match early on. "Both teams played hard and deserved to be in this match. But Carson-Newman had good intensity and won most of the headers and tackles. After the first goal, they were able to put the pressure on our team. I think we began to defend more than attack after that first goal. We were not able to break out very many times."
The Lady Eagles improve to 17-4 on the season while the Argonauts end their season at 20-2-2. C-N will face Seattle Pacific, who knocked off defending national-champion Metro State, in Wichita Falls, Texas on December 1. The time for the match will be announced on Monday. e Mavericks finished second in 2002 and third in 2003 and 2004.
-- Courtesy Carson-Newman