Fire End Historic Season in NAIA Semifinal Battle with William Carey

by | Dec 1, 2018 | RRSN News | 0 comments

Sixth-Seeded Southeastern Falls Short in Valiant Effort Against Second-Seeded William Carey
ORANGE BEACH, Ala.- The Southeastern University women’s soccer team left everything on the field, as they battled to the final whistle with the second-seeded William Carey University Lady Crusaders in the NAIA National Championship Semifinal. The Fire bowed out of the national tournament with a 4-2 loss to the Lady Crusaders.
“I’m so proud of how hard our girls worked and how they left it all on the field. Today was a reflection of how hard they of worked all season long,” shared head Coach Randy Belli.
William Carey took advantage of some early momentum to grow a 3-0 lead over Southeastern with goals in the 12th and the 22nd minute. A penalty kick goal that took place 56 seconds after the second WCU goal put the Lady Crusaders ahead of the Fire 3-0.
Intense pressure from graduate midfielder Gabriella DiDio caused William Carey to pass a ball into their own net, trimming the deficit down to 3-1 with 1:26 to go in the half.
The Lady Crusaders took a three-goal lead back in the 59th minute.
The Fire continued to keep their heads high and worked hard. Their effort paid off in the 73rd minute, as sophomore midfielder Aisha Solorzano rocketed a free kick from 25 yards out over the head of the keeper into the back of the net to make it a 4-2 match.
Southeastern outshot William Carey 5-0 in the final 20 minutes of play.
The Fire celebrate a season in which they set new program records in wins (20), goals (116), assists (106), and points (334).
As one of the final four teams remaining, the 2018 Southeastern team advanced farther in the NAIA postseason than any other team in program history.
DiDio set a new single-season program record of 20 assists in her final season of collegiate soccer.
Junior forward Uchenna Kanu ends the season with NAIA single-season records in goals scored (57) and points (132).
The Fire have much to celebrate in their achievements on the pitch, but the most admirable thing about this family of student-athletes is how they gave the glory in every moment this season to God.
“Most importantly I want to thank our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Our team is built around honoring God in everything we do and we thank Him for the opportunity and for giving us the talents and abilities to play this beautiful game,” added Belli.

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