No. 7 Carson-Newman Defeats Tusculum, 1-0, to Advance to Sweet 16

No. 7 Carson-Newman Defeats Tusculum, 1-0, to Advance to Sweet 16

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. — Sophomore midfielder Sandra Kaelin (Trachslau, Switzerland) tallied a goal in the 18th minute, and the seventh-ranked Carson-Newman women’s soccer team survived a second-half Tusculum rally to defeat the Pioneers, 1-0, on Sunday in the second round of the NCAA Division II Tournament at McCown Field.

With the win, the top-seeded Lady Eagles (19-2-1) advance to next weekend’s Southeast Regional final, where they will face second-seeded Columbus State on Friday. The NCAA Championship Committee will announce times and location for the Sweet 16 on Monday afternoon. Tusculum’s season comes to an end at 15-5-3.

C-N held the advantage in shots in the first half, outshooting the Pioneers 7-4. Kaelin finished off a cross from Trenna Howell (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) in the bottom corner for the decisive goal in the 18th minute.

The Pioneers turned up the pressure in the second half and outshot the Lady Eagles 13-10, but goalkeeper Lauren MacKenzie (Barrie, Ontario) and the C-N defense held off the rally to seal the win.

MacKenzie collected six saves on the day to earn her ninth shutout win of the season. The Lady Eagles have 12 shutouts as a team.

Tusculum goalkeeper Marjaana Kaaresvirta (Turka, Finland) finished with eight saves in the loss.

The Lady Eagles will be making their fifth Sweet 16 appearance in the last seven years. The winner of Friday’s C-N/Columbus State match will face the winner of the match between No. 1 West Florida and Rollins on Sunday, Nov. 22.

Postgame quotes
C-N head coach Phil McNamara:
“We are delighted to make it to the Sweet 16. We beat a good opponent today. I didn’t think it was a fantastic game, but at this time of the year that’s just the way it works out sometimes. It was a dogfight. We will be competing on Friday in our fifth Sweet 16 in the last seven years, which is a remarkable achievement for this program.”

Tusculum head coach Mike Joy:
“It was a hard fought match by both teams. Both of us worked extremely hard, and it was a physical match. We had a number of good opportunities but we just could not finish them. I really take my hat off to our players. I’m really proud of them. We are a really, really young team, and hopefully they got a good taste of the NCAA Tournament this year. We wish Carson-Newman the best of luck and hope that they will go on and represent our conference real well.”