Eagles Advance in NCCAA Nationals
KISSIMMEE, Fla. – For the second time in three games, the Asbury women’s soccer team advanced by penalty kicks, upsetting the second-seeded Lancers from Grace (Ind.) College 5-4 in penalties. The seventh-seeded Eagles ended regulation and both overtimes tied at one with Grace, before nailing all five kicks for the second-straight time. Asbury advanced in the regional semi-finals over Campbellsville via penalty kicks, as well.
Asbury (13-8-2) advances in the winner’s bracket to play third-seeded Trinity International on Thursday at 5 p.m. Trinity beat Truett-McConnell 4-0. The Eagles — who have made five appearances in the tournament — have assured themselves of their highest finish.
All five players chosen to take the penalty kicks for the Eagles — Rebecca Batey, Kaitlyn Hooper, Jessica Batey, Samantha Chanda and Kait Rogers — again came through without missing. Asbury went second in the shootout and each team made the first four before Grace missed wide on its fifth attempt. That’s when Rogers, a freshman, stepped up and delivered. Rogers also made the winning kick against Campbellsville in the regional semis and scored the game-winning goal in the KIAC Tournament final.
In regulation, the Eagles scored first when Meredith Ury knocked home the lone first-half goal off a corner kick from Jessie Smith in the 35th minute. Smith sent a perfectly lofted ball across the goal mouth and just high enough to get passed the hands of Grace’s keeper Carmen Barnhill. Ury made a run to the back post to knock it home; it was her fifth goal of the season.
Grace would turn up the pressure in the second half, taking 12 of its 23 shots in the half; the Eagles would take only 12 shots in the game. Asbury’s Maegan Rogers would make nine saves in the match, including several key stops at the end of regulation. In overtime Asbury would become the more aggressive team taking three shots to Grace’s one in the extra periods.