NASHVILLE – The Lipscomb (9-6-3) women’s soccer team came out victorious Friday night, winning a thrilling ASUN semifinal match against Kennesaw State 1-0 at the Lipscomb Soccer Complex.
The win was the Bisons first in three tries when matched up against the Owls (8-7-4) in ASUN play, after losing twice previously to KSU 1-0 in 2013 and 2014.
“It was an incredibly hard-fought match tonight,” Lipscomb women’s soccer head coach Kevin O’Brien said. “Hats off to Kennesaw. They are a team that battles, tooth and nail, all the way to the end every time we play them.
“We knew going into the match it would be a difficult game, and it proved to be so. I thought we played well, kept good possession, and competed at a high level.”
Lipscomb scored early, taking the lead in the 10th minute. Senior Natalie DuBoise sent in a perfectly placed ball that junior Justis Bailey headed over the outstretched arms of Kennesaw’s keeper into the top right corner of the net for her first career goal.
“It was a good service,” O’Brien said. “Obviously, Natalie usually has good service so that’s not surprising. But I’ll be honest with you, I was shocked that that was Justis’ first goal of her career because she is very good in the air. She’s brave in the way she went up and elevated above everyone else.”
The rest of the night was a fast-paced, hard-hitting affair that saw several shots-on-goal from each team as well as seven called fouls apiece.
“It was a much better response tonight than it was last time we played them earlier in the season,” O’Brien said. “Physically, we matched their strength a lot better. We played some really nice soccer and created some great chances.”
The Bisons had a call taken back in the game’s final moments that would have given Lipscomb a 2-0 lead. Sophomore Olivia Doak notched the disallowed goal that was called back after a foul on the opposing goalkeeper.
Senior goalkeeper Kate Mason notched seven saves, upping her season total 69. She now has five shutouts on the season.
The Purple and Gold will advance to the ASUN Championship, where they will meet a familiar foe in FGCU - their opponent in each of the past two finals.
- Lipscomb outshot KSU 14-9, but the Owls had a 7-4 shots-on-goal advantage.
- Senior Ellen Lundy led the Bisons with five shots, including two on goal. Sophomore Jordan Walsh added three shots.
- The Bisons earned two corners, while the Owls earned one.
- Mason, seniors Niamh Rawlins, Paige Miller, Jade Abarca, Lundy, and DuBoise, and junior Bailey went the full 90 minutes for the Purple and Gold.
- Lipscomb reversed the score of the final game of the regular season, as Kennesaw won 1-0 on the Bisons senior night.
UP NEXT: The Bisons will be taking on FGCU for the third consecutive year in the ASUN Championship. The match will kick off at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.
“They’re super talented,” O’Brien said. “It’s going to be a really tough game. I feel like if we play with the passion and commitment that we did tonight, we’ve got a great chance. It’s going to be a really tough, but awesome conference finals.”