FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Lipscomb (12-3-4) women’s soccer team defeated Jacksonville (6-8-3) 3-0 on Friday afternoon in the Atlantic Sun Semifinals. The win was the first A-Sun Tournament victory in program history for the Lady Bisons.
“The win was convincing from start to finish,” Lipscomb women’s soccer head coach Kevin O’Brien said. “I thought we came out as the aggressor, and really dominated the game.”
In the win, junior goalkeeper Anna Buhigas broke the A-Sun single season record for shutouts with 13.
“I’m really proud of her,” O’Brien said. “She’s done the work, and ultimately she’s getting the rewards. The accolades she’s picked are awesome. It’s really important to have a strong goalkeeper at the Division I level, and we’re thankful to have her tending our nets. She’s a great leader and a great all-around soccer player.
“But, I must say that it takes a team to keep an opponent out. So, hats off to the rest of the team as well.”
Lipscomb’s first goal, a penalty kick strike from sophomore Jade Abarca in the 10th minute, was a total team effort. Senior Emily Shuler made a tackle and passed the ball up to freshman Maycie McKay. McKay placed the ball into the box where senior Alex Hickey drew the penalty, setting up Abarca’s third score of the year.
“All the goals came from good defensive work by winning the ball, either with a good, strong tackle or intercepting a pass, and then playing quickly in attack.” O’Brien said. “For us, our defending has been a real strength of ours, but the way we’ve developed over the season into a more potent attacking team has been great. That was evidence today.”
Hickey notched the second goal, slotting in the ball off of an assist from sophomore Natalie DuBoise. Kickey now has six goals on the year, and DuBoise has a team-leading four assists.
“We scored a couple of early goals,” O’Brien said. “Whenever you get two in the first 20, it sets you up for success. Because of that lead, we were able to rotate the squad a little bit. Some players that maybe haven’t played as many minutes really stepped up and did a phenomenal job. You couldn’t ask for a better script in terms of preparing for a final on Sunday.”
A freshman-to-freshman connection set up the third goal, with Brooke Brenner placing a pass from Dominque Diller in the back of the net. The score was Brenner’s third of the season.
- Lipscomb outshot Jacksonville 10-3, with five of the 10 shots coming on goal.
- Lipscomb also earned the corner kick advantage 4-1.
- Buhigas notched three saves in the record-setting shutout, pushing her season total to 94. Her GAA dropped to 0.49, extending her league-leading total.
- The Lady Bisons have now shut out opponents for 277 minutes during the season. Their current streak stands at three consecutive games.
- The victory also extended Lipscomb’s program record for victories in a single season with 12. The Purple and Gold had previously set a new record against NJIT with 11 wins.
- DuBoise and Hickey led the team with two shots in the game.
UP NEXT: The Lady Bisons will face the winner of FGCU and Stetson on Sunday at 12 p.m.