Lee Women Win In Overtime, Advance To NCAA Elite Eight
Saturday, November 17, 2018
Lauren Peters found the back of the net in the 108th minute of overtime as the Lee women’s soccer team captured its first NCAA South Region Championship in program history, defeating Mississippi College, 2-1.
The battle between two conference foes ended 1-1 in regulation after two second half goals. Emma Claire Furman got Mississippi College on the board first as she tipped in a goal off a pass from Lauren Smith in the 53rd minute.
Senior Mia Hollingsworth answered for the Lady Flames as she raced past a defender a slipped a shot past MC keeper Andrea McDonald for her team-leading 14th goal of the year.
“This feeling is so surreal.
I’ve dreamed about being in the Elite Eight and to see it happen is just incredibly fulfilling,” said Hollingsworth. “It was frustrating to play so well in the second half and give up the goal but we never stopped fighting and Taylor (Green) got us in the huddle and said we are going to answer back and we did.”
Both goalkeepers were tested throughout the contest. Lee’s Taylor Green recorded seven saves, including a one on one acrobatic save to keep the match tied late in regulation. McDonald registered six for the Choctaws
“I’m just so proud of our defenders and I believe in them so much,” said Green. “I have complete trust in them and how hard they work and I know they know I have their back.”
After being outshot 9-2 in the first the Lady Flames held an 8-7 advantage in the second half a 4-0 margin in the overtime periods. For the game the Lady Choctaws held a 16-14 advantage in shots with each team taking eight on frame
“Mississippi College is such a talented team and we knew this was going to be a battle,” said Lee head coach Chris Hennessey, who know improves to 5-3 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. “I thought we showed our youth in the first half but the seniors settled us down and we played some very good soccer in the second half and overtime and felt like our chances were coming. We have proven we can score and create chances all season long but our defense has really come along and our playing phenomenal right now.”
All three tournament victories for Lee this season have come in overtime. The Lady Flames are 3-3-1 in overtime matches this season.
Lee will now take on Southeast Region Champions, Columbus State on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Lee Soccer Field for the right to advance to the Final Four. The Cougars knocked off Lincoln Memorial in overtime, 3-2 earlier in the day.