National Tournament Preview: Eagles Prep for Defending National Champions

National Tournament Preview: Eagles Prep for Defending National Champions

ANKENY, Iowa—The Faith Eagles women's soccer team is wrapping up final details as they prepare for the NCCAA Division II Women's Soccer National Championships in Kissimmee, Florida, where they will face Grace Christian University in the semifinals on Friday, November 22, at 2:30 p.m. (EST), 1:30 p.m. central time, Grace Christian defeated Bob Jones University in last year's title game on PK's to win the school's first-ever national championship in women's soccer.

Grace Christian advanced to this year's tournament with a 7-0 victory over Johnson University, the number two seed in their region. Grace is located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and has an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 300 students. It has been in existence since 1939. This will be the school's fourth consecutive trip to the women's soccer national tournament.

The matchup of the Grace Christian Tigers and the Faith Eagles features the top two scoring teams in the nation and four of the top five individual scorers. Grace Christian ranks number one in scoring, averaging 4.66 goals per game. Faith ranks second in the nation in scoring at 3.47 goals per game.

The Tigers return all but four of last season's starters from their championship team. This year's squad boasts four First Team All-Region players with Maddie Brown, Alicia Contreras, Alethia Jones, and Jenni Sue Pilieci. Coach Scott Teesdale was named Regional Coach of the Year. Maddie Brown is the school's all-time leading scorer and is the national leader in scoring this season with 27 goals.

The Eagles boast four All-Region players of their own with Karina Fritz, Lyndi Shepard, Jessica Frerichs, and Abigail Speichinger, and also have a Regional Coach of the Year with Zack Barron. Lyndi Shepard is Faith's all-time leading scorer.

The only common opponent the Tigers and Eagles faced this season was Maranatha Baptist. Grace defeated Maranatha 2-0, the same score the Eagles won by in their last matchup on October 26. Based on common opponents and statistics, the game looks to be very exciting and very evenly matched.

You can watch both of the Eagles' games, live, on Friday and Saturday on The NCCAA Network, which will feature a full broadcast team with play-by-play and color commentary. If the Eagles advance to the championship game, they will play Saturday, November 23, at 2:30 p.m. against the winner of Bob Jones University and Randall University. If they lose, they will play in the consolation game on Saturday, November 23, at 12:00 p.m. The Eagles defeated Randall University, 3-1, earlier this season. They have not faced Bob Jones University, who is currently the number one ranked team.

 

Team Comparisons:

                                                        Goals/Game                    OppAvg               Margin                Corners

Faith Eagles                                   3.47                                  .82                       2.65                    97

Grace Christian Tigers                    4.66                                  1.89                    2.78                    55

 

National Individual Rankings:

Scoring

#1 Maddie Brown, Grace Christian (27)

#2 Jennie Sue Pilieci, Grace Christian (26)

#3 Lyndi Shepard, Faith (21)

#5 Abigail Speichinger, Faith (13)

#10 Brandy Weaver, Grace Christian (10)

 

Assists

#1 Alicia Contreras, Grace Christian (11)

#2 Maddie Brown, Grace Christian (10)

#4 Haley Threatt, Grace Christian (7)

#4 Lyndi Shepard, Faith (7)

#4 Abigail Speichinger, Faith (7)

#9 Jennie Sue Pilieci, Grace Christian (5)

#9 Abby Zollinger, Faith (5)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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