HOUSTON (Nov. 9, 2013) – Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) women's soccer team captured the 2013 Red River Athletic Conference Tournament crown this evening after beating the University of Texas at Brownsville 2-1 in the championship match. The Saints also won the regular season crown.
The Saints will advance to the first round of the 30th Annual National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Women's Soccer National Championship on Nov. 23. The first-round games will take place at campus sites that will be determined next week. Winners will advance to the championship tournament in Orange Beach, Ala., Dec. 2-7.
Head Coach Arthur Salazar said, "I am extremely proud of this team. They have been able to persevere through many obstacles to be able to call themselves champions. UTB is a very tough team and our girls had to fight to the very end. Their heart and desire to win are immeasurable."
The Saints got on the board quickly after a little more than a minute had passed. Sophomore Teegan Luckemeyer scored on an assist from freshman Amaris Tavares. The score stayed at 1-0 through just before the end of the half when the Saints fouled the Ocelots inside the box. UTB's Monica Mendes was able to convert the penalty kick into a goal to tie the score at 1-1 with less than 50 seconds remaining in the half.
The Saints struggled in the second half while the Ocelots took twice as many shots. With 12 minutes remaining in the game, the Ocelots fouled the Saints inside the box, and junior Stephanie Diaz successfully shot the penalty kick in for the winning goal.
The Ocelots outshot the Saints 12-4. Luckemeyer, Diaz, Stephania Vazquez and Erika Thompson took one shot each. UTB's Nelleke Smits led her team in shooting with four. Saints keeper Gabriela Lopez recorded four saves, while UTB's Maria Eriksen saved one and allowed both Saints' goals.
Brownsville ends its season with a 12-3 overall record. The Saints are currently at 15-2-1.
The NAIA Champions of Character program aims to instill five core values in NAIA athletes, coaches: respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership, and sportsmanship. Our Lady of the Lake University shares and supports these values and strives to promote the Champions of Character program by working with students, coaches through our Champions of Character educational program. For more information on the Champions of Character program, click on the logo below: www.championsofcharacter.org.