Nov. 14, 2010

Courtesy of Hardin-Simmons

ABILENE, Texas -- Hardin-Simmons and Trinity have established themselves as two of the best teams in the country and for the sixth time in seven years the two teams met in the NCAA Tournament, this time it was Hardin-Simmons turn to come out on top as the Cowgirls won 2-1 in the second round of the NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championship Sunday afternoon in Abilene.

Hardin-Simmons improved to 21-0 on the year and Trinity ended its season with a record of 18-2. The Cowgirls opened the season and ended the season with a loss at Trinity a year ago for their only two losses, this year it was the direct opposite as HSU won the first meeting and won the rematch with both games at home.

"It's a shame we both have to play each other and knock one of the best teams out of the tournament so early, but that is the setup and we both know," said HSU head coach Marcus Wood. "We were able to make a couple more plays. They are a tremendous team and jumped out with a goal, but I am proud of my team as well we responded to being down for the first time this year and what can you say about Meg Ryan. She was awesome."

Trinity had the strong south wind at its back in the first half, but the Cowgirls were able to fight off any chances. HSU held the Tigers to three shots with the wind, while the Cowgirls had nine shots in the first half against the wind.

Trinity however came out and scored in the 56th minute when Abigail Loar and Lindsey Newbauer combined on a perfect passing combination ahead to Jordan Azar who buried it in the lower left corner to give Trinity the lead.

It was the first time Hardin-Simmons had trailed all season and it didn't last long. Megan Ryan scored on a great pass from Miranda Bersosa. Ryan drove it by Trinity keeper Katie Garrett.

Ryan then put the Cowgirls on top when Hsu served a ball into the box. Carlyn Powers played it back to Ryan and the 5-1 midfielder drove it into the net.

"I got two great passes," said Ryan. "Miranda worked around her girl and I was able to get a good strike on the first one and the second one Carlyn was going down and got it to me with space. We are a team that does what it takes, Trinity is a great team as well."

HSU outshot Trinity 16-7 in the game and 8-4 on-goal. Rebecca Roth had three saves for HSU and Garrett had six for Trinity.

"I give it to Hardin-Simmons they put together more opportunities than we did," said Trinity head coach Lance Key. "Frankly, I think the team that deserved to win won. They are a great team. The best team that Woody has had since I have been here."

Hardin-Simmons will play Redlands (Calif.) in the sectional round. The location will be determined later on Sunday evening.