Women’s soccer wraps up West, surges past Sugar Bears

Women’s soccer wraps up West, surges past Sugar Bears

The Bisons women’s soccer team won the ASUN West Division with a 3-0 victory over the Central Arkansas Sugar Bears.

“[It feels] really good,” head coach Kevin O’Brien said on the valuable win. “I mean, that’s obviously what you work for all year long. You train in the summer and then you show up and have preseason and you put in time and time and time in the non-conference to try to get ready and go on a run and thankfully these girls have shown up in the ASUN season.” 

“Going into the conference championship playing well, I thought we created lots of good chances and defended well also, and that’s all a head coach can ask for.”

The Bisons took on the Central Arkansas Sugar Bears for the first time this season. This served as the deciding game for the host of the west bracket of the ASUN Conference tournament as well as Lipscomb women’s soccer senior night. The team recognized midfielder Kristi Jones from Lynn Haven, Florida majoring in Biology and forward Kammy McGee from Collierville, Tennessee. Both have taken the field over 50 times in 4 years as well as being a part of the back to back ASUN championships which led to two NCAA playoff berths and the program’s first NCAA tournament win.

In the first half the Bisons kicked off to start the game. Lipscomb pushed up into the box but good defence by the Sugar bears prevented any shots by the Bisons. Kristi Jones got the first shot off on Keyla Perez. A Lipscomb foul led to a free kick by the Sugar Bears in their own territory. Both teams were playing very aggressively early in the half with the Sugar Bears pushing the pace on both sides of the ball. A foul by the Sugar Bears led to an electrifying free kick by sophomore defenceman Logan McFadden. A 2nd and 3rd shot followed for the Bisons. A shot by forward Allie Dunn rang the right post and without a doubt gave the Sugar Bears a fright. An early goal by defenceman Shelby Craft assisted by Allie Dunn put the Bisons up by 1 with 25 minutes left in the first half. The Sugar Bears kickoff resulted in no offence in the game for the Sugar bears thus far. The Sugar Bears’ Morgan Rollow got their first bit of offence with a shot that ended wide left of the goal. CJ Graham came out of goal to stop a dangerous chance, and a late goal by Haley Williams assisted by Emanuela Schurch put the Bisons up 2-0. Alivia Carapazza received a yellow card with 4 minutes left in the half. 

In the second half, the Sugar Bears got the kickoff. McGee put the first shot of the second half wide right. Anika Sultan of the Sugar Bears received a yellow card and gave the Bisons a penalty kick. Allie Dunn scored on the penalty kick to put the Bisons up 3-0 with the crowd going wild in the background. A few Lipscomb fouls countered by a great defensive stand kept the Sugar Bears to 1 shot nearly 10 minutes into the half. A close play near the net and Haley Williams put the ball high and right. CJ Graham made her first save of the night with 18 minutes left in regulation. Noa Ganthier put a shot to the bottom left which was saved by Keyla Perez. Three shots from the Bisons in the last 5 minutes kept the Sugar Bears from posting any more offence on the board. As the clock counted down to 0, it was only a formality as the Bisons finished things up with a 3-0 advantage.

“I think my endurance has been built up over a couple years alongside a lot of teammates who push me to build that fitness,” said Penn State transfer Shelby Craft. “Ultimately, when you are doing it for your team, it is not that hard.”

“[The win] feels really really good,” McGee said, “but I think it is just how great my team is and how much they love to serve Jesus and each other and at the end of the day that’s what makes all the difference. 

“It is just a team that knows how to sacrifice and serve one another and so I think that is what got us this win tonight and what is going to keep us winning,” McGee said.

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