NEWPORT NEWS, Va. -- Shelby Judkins converted a first-half penalty stroke and Bailey Lien collected four saves to lead Christopher Newport to a 1-0 victory against Centre during the NCAA round of 16 on Saturday afternoon at Captains Turf Field.
Once again, the defense limited the Colonels to six shots while controlling possession throughout the contest. The offense did its job as well after Judkins drove home the only goal following a foul on Belle Tunstall just before halftime.
With the victory, Christopher Newport improves to 20-1 on the season and advances to the national quarterfinals for just the second time in program history. The Captains will square off with Catholic at 1 p.m. Sunday.
On an individual level, Lien captured her 19th victory of the season while guiding the team to its 10th shutout of the year. Her 19 wins match the all-time NCAA record for victories by a freshman, equaling the benchmark set by Keene State's Caitlin Davino-Draper in 2011.
Fittingly, Lien was tested early as Centre popped the first on-target shot of the game, but Lien stoned the attempt. Following the early test, Christopher Newport took control with a run in the middle of the half.
During a six-minute stretch, the Captains earned four penalty corners and blasted five shots, but Centre's Kirby Roberts stood tall in the cage. Later, the visitors pieced together a run and flipped a pair of shots, but Lien clamped down on both while Chelsea Hines broke up another surge after chasing down a Colonel, who had briefly slipped into the zone on the near side of the field.
After the two teams traded spurts in the middle of the period, Christopher Newport landed the first blow in the final minute of action. With only 28 ticks left on the first-half clock, Tunstall scooted free and found clear sailing into the Centre zone. Back on their heels, the Colonels dropped the junior speedster before she could take a shot, which gave the Captains their third stroke of the season.
With a free shot, Judkins fired a dart into the bottom corner of the cage to give CNU a 1-0 lead entering halftime.
Following the break, the Captains continued to search for some breathing room and kept poking at the Centre defense. Early in the second half, Lauren Cheatham took control of the ball and booked it across midfield. After finding some space, she tipped the roller to Tunstall, who came screaming up the far side.
With a clear run at the cage, Tunstall was stymied by Roberts. Although Tunstall had some space to work, the Centre goalie closed in on her and made a sprawling stop near the center of the circle to keep the deficit at one.
Six minutes later, Tunstall and Cheatham teamed up on another scoring opportunity. This time, Tunstall drilled a perfect centering feed to Cheatham, who found a spot just in front of the cage. Roberts was up to the challenge again as she made a great kick save on the rocket.
Although the CNU offense came up short in its search for some extra cushion on the scoreboard, the defense never broke. Hines, Judkins, and Jordan Snider were strong along the back line, while Marcy Hoath, Allie Hackbarth, and Marlene Lichty continued to cut down the Centre attack before it even crossed midfield.
With time running down, the Colonels called for a timeout with just under six minutes remaining in regulation. Despite the break, the Captains were able to keep control and pumped two final shots before Lichty scrambled to the near corner and showed off her stick skills while running off the final few seconds to seal the victory.
Overall, Christopher Newport held a 17-6 edge in shots and a 13-3 lead in corners. Roberts finished the game with eight saves for the Colonels, while Lien came through with four to cap off her record-tying victory.