LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Rollins took an early lead in the first half and held on late in Thursday night’s national semifinal, eventually defeating Colorado Mines 1-0 to advance to the national championship for the first time in program history.
With the win, the Tars eclipse the 20-win plateau for the first time in Rollins soccer history, improving to 20-2 on the year. Colorado Mines ends its season with a record of 16-2-6.
The Tars outshot the CSMU 19-6 for the game, including 11-3 in the first half. Both teams took three corners.Sophomore Mora Johnson registered the game’s lone score while classmate Emma Bloom took a game high seven shots.
In goal, Mary Spring recorded her ninth shutout of the year, finishing with three saves. Her counterpart Jayln Yates also played the full 90 minutes, making nine saves.
Neither team threatened much in the early going before a Paxton Sickler service found Bloom near the far post in the 12th minute but Bloom’s chance sailed high over the crossbar.
Johnson then broke through for the Tars in the 19th minute, chasing down a pass in the corner before cutting back to her right and sent a shot that somehow snuck inside the near post. The goal was her team leading 15th of the year.
The score would hold at 1-0 in Rollins’ favor heading into the half.
Johnson nearly picked up her second goal in the 60th minute, striking a shot from nearly the identical spot on the other side of the field as her first score, this time deflecting off of Yates’ fingertips and bounced off the crossbar.
CSMU’s best chance of the night game in the 65th minute as Julia Hawn slid behind the Rollins defense but her shot trickled wide of the far post as Spring came out of goal to cut down the angle.
The Tars defense held the rest of the way, propelling Rollins into the national final for the first time in the program’s history. The Tars will meet Grand Valley State at 3 p.m. on Saturday.