Southern Wesleyan Outlasts PBA in NCCAA Regional Final

Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID

Julia Vezina (Pictured, #8) Battles a Southern Wesleyan Defender in the NCCAA South Region Championship on Saturday at Magic Jack Field. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards. Julia Vezina (Pictured, #8) Battles a Southern Wesleyan Defender in the NCCAA South Region Championship on Saturday at Magic Jack Field. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards.

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- The Palm Beach Atlantic University women’s soccer team has overcome an extreme amount of adversity this season. With a growing list of injured players that seemingly grew with each match, the Lady Sailfish entered their NCCAA South Regional final with a tough task at hand in going up against #1-seeded Southern Wesleyan University. In the end, the Warriors outlasted PBA by a final of 2-1.

After overtaking North Greenville University on Friday afternoon by a 3-1 count, the Sailfish were back on the field Saturday afternoon with a matchup with the Warriors who received a first-round bye as the #1-seed.

After a scoreless first-half, the Fish broke through for a penalty kick goal from senior Lindsey Bates before SWU responded with a pair of goals. After taking the 2-1 lead, SWU played tight defense the rest of the way and ended the Sailfish season at Magic Jack Field.

“Today we faced yet another adversity in having to play a man down, as we ran out of healthy players. The ladies played with great heart,” said first-year head coach James Kryger.

“Coach Rife and I are very proud of them. We know this group has overcome so much and today with a little luck we almost knocked of a very good number 1 seed. We played out of style today and did it very well. We are so proud of our family and will miss not representing PBA at Nationals,” continued Kryger.

With only 12 healthy players entering competition on Saturday, the Fish lost starting back Angelica Torres to an injury late in the second-half that forced them into playing a man down for nearly the last five minutes.

As has been the case much of the season, Torres fought through the pain to come back after intermission to help her team.

Three minutes into the second-half, Bates was taken down inside the box and responded with a penalty kick goal that put PBA on top by a score of 1-0.

That lead would be short lived however as SWU forward Megan Bullock came away with an unassisted goal three minutes later to knot the score in the 48th minute.

Jackie Tubb, who would later be named the South Region Player of the Year, assisted the game-winning goal just five minutes later as she found teammate Rosy Escobar for a goal in the 53rd minute that gave PBA a deficit they wouldn’t be able to overcome.

Sierra Threatt earned the victory in goal for SWU as she stopped one shot while PBA keeper Ashley Morrell tallied four saves in the loss.

SWU came out ahead in both shots and corner kicks with advantages respectively at 14-6 and 4-3.

The loss ends the season for PBA who finished the season 5-14-2. PBA closed out their 2008 season in fine fashion by winning four of their last five matches. Southern Wesleyan earns an automatic bid to the NCCAA National Tournament which will take place in Kissimmee, Florida on December 2nd-6th.

“I would like to thank our seniors for all they sacrificed for the program, you will always be a huge part of this program,” said Kryger.

“ ‘It is not the accomplishments you have achieved here but the legacy you will leave behind’ ” Seniors, you have and will for a very, very long time leave endless memories, laughs and an awesome Christian service. Your –Legacy- is what you can be most proud of,” continued Kryger.

NCCAA South All-Region Team

Goalkeepers
Ashley Morrell- PBA
Sierra Threatt- SWU

Defenders
Jenna Henderson- SWU
Christina Ibanez- PBA
Lindsey Bates- PBA
Becky Moore- EC

Midfielders
Molly Franklin- NGU
Leah Ward- NGU
Angie Kuhn- PBA
Angelica Torres- PBA
Amanda Almond- SWU

Forwards
Jackie Tubb- SWU
Katie Sullivan- SWU
Brandi Bianco- PBA

Player of the Year
Jackie Tubb- SWU

Coach of the Year
Tom Price- SWU

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