PREVIEW: Women’s Soccer Set for SAC Tourney Rematch with Queens

PREVIEW: Women’s Soccer Set for SAC Tourney Rematch with Queens

HICKORY, N.C. – The Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Soccer team is gunning for its second SAC Tournament Championship in the same calendar year as the Bears head to the semifinals on Friday against Queens. The match against the Royals is a rematch of the Spring Conference Tournament Championship that saw LR erase a 1-0 deficit and win 2-1 on Neve Duston’s OT goal. Prior to the championship game in 2020-21, LR and Queens had never met in the SAC Tournament.

The Bears have won three SAC Conference Tournaments in program history (2010, 2012 and 2020-21) and look to add to that total this weekend. LR owns a 29-23-9 all-time record in SAC Tournament history and have championships as the number 1 seed (2010, 2012) and the number 4 seed in the spring. The Bears have never made it past the semifinal round as the three seed and this is only the third time in program history (1991 and 2018 the others) that LR has been the No. 3 seed.

LR placed seven on the All-Conference squad as announced by the league on Tuesday morning. Ria Acton and Vivien Becker Peralta earned First-Team selections while Leonie Proessl was a Second-Team pick. Allie Zueger, Evan O’Leary, Stephanie Figueiredo and Grayson Cameron were all on the Third-Team.

Queens had six players named to the All-SAC team, led by first-team selections Karen Juarez and goalkeeper Erica Turner. Nia Gaither earned a second-team nod and Mia Manuel, Megan Eastep and Jada Palmer all earned third-team selections.

The two teams met back on Oct. 9 in Hickory with LR coming away with a 1-0 win thanks to a Scarlett Kelly goal in the 69th minute. In an evenly matched contest, LR held a 17-16 advantage in shots and a 5-4 edge in shots on goal. LR took eight corners to six from the Royals.

LR owns the all-time series with Queens, going 11-7-2. LR is 7-2 at home against the Royals and 4-5-1 in Charlotte. The Bears have won seven of the last 10 contests with Queens.

On top of the large conference tournament implications of Friday’s match, both teams could use a resume-boosting win for their NCAA Tournament hopes. Queens was ranked No. 3 in the regional rankings while the Bears came in at No. 7 with eight teams making the NCAA Tournament from the Southeast Region.

The winner of Queens/LR takes on the winner of Catawaba/Carson-Newman on Sunday at 1 p.m. with an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament on the line.

 


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