Nov 22, 2019
KISSIMMEE, Florida--The battle of the nation's two highest-scoring women's soccer teams didn't go Faith's way Friday afternoon in the NCCAA national semifinals as the Eagles fell, 5-0, to Grace Christian University.
Grace Christian's Maddie Brown showed why she is the nation's leading scorer, netting the first of her three goals less than five minutes into the game.
"She was the fastest player I faced this year," said Karina Fritz, who was named a Second Team All-American on defense this weekend along with freshman forward Abigail Speichinger.
Faith's Lyndi Shepherd was named a First Team All-American Thursday evening, but neither she nor any of Faith forwards were able to get the Eagles on the scoreboard. GCU's goalie made numerous spectacular saves, frustrating Faith's normally potent offense.
"We created some chances on offense, we just weren't putting them far enough out of reach of the goalie," said Coach Zack Barron. "They were solid on defense. They kept a lot back in their counterattack."
A 2-0 deficit felt larger than that at halftime with the Eagles struggling to gain any offensive momentum. Sensing the urgency to get the offense clicking, Barron moved Aubree Smith from keeper into the forward position to add some firepower. Grace Christian continued to make stops, and Maddie Brown continued to make goals, scoring twice more in the second half as the Tigers broke the game open and cruised to the 5-0 win. Faith finished with 10 shots on goal, while GCU had 12.
The loss halted Faith's six-game winning streak, but the Eagles get a chance to go out victorious with a consolation game on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. (Central Standard Time) against Randall University, who fell to Bob Jones University in the other semifinal.
"Grace Christian is a great team," said Barron. "Their maturity showed, being here year after year. They are the defending national champions. We have a lot coming back next year, and I'm excited to see what we can do."