ORANGE BEACH, Ala. – For the third straight year, Spring Arbor University has advanced to the Final Four of the NAIA Women’s Soccer National Championship after earning a hard-fought 2-0 victory over No. 9 ranked Westmont (Calif.) on Wednesday at the Orange Beach SportsPlex.
FINAL SCORE: #3 Spring Arbor 2, #9 Westmont 0
LOCATION: Orange Beach SportsPlex | Orange Beach, Ala.
RECORDS: Spring Arbor 22-1-1, Westmont 16-4-2
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Playing for the second time in as many days, Spring Arbor took on Westmont for the right to move on to the tournament semifinals.
- The Cougars weathered a storm early on as Westmont came out with a lot of energy. The Warriors earned a pair of corner kick opportunities in the first 15 minutes and had several shots, but none on frame.
- The momentum shifted in the blink of eye, however, when Kaley Buck found the back of the net in the 24th minute. Renee Broekhuizen made a great play on the end line to keep the ball alive before slipping a cross through to Buck for the finish.
- Buck came close to scoring again early in the second half, but her shot rattled the post.
- Goalkeeper Ashley Timmons would make three saves over the final 45 minutes to preserve the lead.
- Spring Arbor put the match out of reach in the 73rd minute with a strike from Aubrey Schierbeek. After a failed clear from Westmont, Bethany Balcer found Schierbeek and she blasted a shot from 20 yards out over the outstretched arms of the Warrior keeper.
- The Cougars finished the evening with a slight 15-14 edge over the Warriors in shots.
- Timmons made five saves in the shutout effort.
BEYOND THE BOXSCORE
- Spring Arbor will advance to its third consecutive appearance in the NAIA national tournament semifinals. The Cougars won the title in 2015 and were the national runner-up in 2016.
- SAU extended its unbeaten streak to 16 matches while earning its 17th clean sheet of the season.
- Buck’s goal was her fifth of the season while Schierbeek tallied her 14th.
Spring Arbor will meet the winner of the University of Northwestern Ohio and Tennessee Wesleyan University matchup in the tournament semifinals on Friday, Dec. 1 at 3:30 p.m. ET.