South Atlantic’s top four women’s teams square off in semifinals

South Atlantic’s top four women’s teams square off in semifinals

Queens senior goalkeeper Erica Turner, an all-South Atlantic Conference first team pick, has 12 clean sheets on the season. The Royals play Lenoir-Rhyne in the SAC tournament semifinals Friday at Sportsplex at Matthews.

The final four at the South Atlantic Conference women’s soccer tournament is a mirror image of the regular season table.

Top four seeds Catawba, Queens Lenoir-Rhyne and Carson Newman all dispatched quarterfinal challengers to make the semifinals Friday at the Sportsplex at Matthews. Catawba (16-0-2), the No. 10 squad in NCAA Division II advanced with a 1-0 victory against Newberry. The Indians play fourth-seeded Carson-Newman Friday at 11 a.m.

Catawba forward Hannah Dunn earned Offensive Player of the Year, while defender Katie Beck is Defensive Player of the Year and head coach Nick Brown was voted as the Coach of the Year.

Dunn, a freshman from Concord, led No. 10-ranked Catawba to the regular season title with 16 goals scored and 37 points. She is also third in the country in points per game (2.47) and tied for fourth in the nation in total goals and total points. Four Indians earned first-team all-conference, while Wingate placed three and Queens two (Karen Juarez and goalkeeper Erica Turner).

Juarez, a senior, pushed the second-seeded Royals into the semifinals with a golden goal in the 105th minute to lift Queens (14-3-1) past seventh-seeded Lincoln Memorial (7-7-2) in the quarterfinals. They play third seed Lenoir-Rhyne at 2 p.m. Friday. The Royals’ only conference loss of the season was against Bears on the road.

Turner has been key to the Royals’ success with 12 clean sheets this season.

Lenoir-Rhyne, winner of four straight SAC tournament matches after a 2-0 decision against Limestone (10-5-1), is a threat to win it all. The Bears are 29-23-9 all time in SAC tournament games.

The final is Sunday at 1 p.m.


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