(Story courtesy of the Trinity University athletics website)
(Photo courtesy of Josh Moczygemba)
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - The top-ranked Trinity women’s soccer team was eliminated from the NCAA Division III Playoffs with a 2-0 loss against #15 Hardin-Simmons University on Saturday night. Interactive Bracket | Box Score
"My girls were incredible tonight," said Head Coach Lance Key. "I never recall being so impressed by a group of young women that I've had the opportunity to lead and to coach than this group. Three fantastic young women in our seniors Maggie, Emily, and Kim were phenomenal this year, helping the team forge forward and become among the best teams in the country, and among the best teams we've ever had in the history of our program. Every step of the way they did it with class, integrity, tremendous sense of commitment, and selflessness. I just was so proud of the way they competed tonight. It's a tough game that we play, and tonight we were on the wrong end of a result that just doesn't match the box score for sure. I don't think it's an indication of the separation of these two teams. I give credit to Hardin-Simmons. They have a fantastic coach, and the kids played hard, and were very effective tonight."
For the Tigers, the loss snaps a streak of 87 consecutive home games without a loss, which is the NCAA Division III record. Trinity finishes the season with a 19-1-2 mark. The Tigers won a shootout against the University of Texas-Tyler 4-3 on Friday night, following the second draw of the year against the Patriots. Hardin-Simmons eliminated the Tigers by penalty kicks in the 2012 second round, also played on the Trinity campus.
Hardin-Simmons got on the board in the 25th minute of play, lifting a shot just over Tiger goalkeeper Janie Thompson. The score remained 1-0 through halftime, but shortly after the intermission, the Cowgirls made it 2-0 to force the Tigers to commit more resources into the attack. Hardin-Simmons was particularly accurate tonight, connecting for two goals on just four shots. Trinity finished with 21 total shots, including seven shots on goal.
"We were unfortunate," concluded Coach Key. "We gave away only two shots on goal in 90 minutes, which in and of itself is tough to do at this stage of the season against a high-quality opponent. We just couldn't seem to convert, though we created plenty of opportunities. I think they were also fortunate on numerous accounts by the bounce of the ball. Coming off of the match last night where we were forced to play one of the top 10 teams in the country and had to battle it out through double overtime...I think that was part of the lack of sharpness that we had on a couple of occasions."