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BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – The Eastern Florida State College women’s soccer team is back in the NJCAA Division I National Tournament Championship Game.
The No. 4 seed Titans defeated No. 6 seed Arizona Western 1-0 in the national tournament semifinal to advance to the finals for the second time in the last three seasons on Thursday at Stryker Sports Complex in Wichita, Kansas.
“This wasn’t the prettiest of games, but it was a gutsy game and sometimes you need those to move forward,” Eastern Florida State College women’s soccer coach Scott Carswell said.
Eastern Florida State College got on the board in the 38th minute as Lena Borges hit a strike at the top of the box past Arizona Western’s goalkeeper Tindra Biedermann to make it 1-0.
“I am not sure what happened, but I got the ball and just took the shot and it was a goal,” Borges said.
Up 1-0, the Titan’s defensive line of Cali Stranz, Taylor Mason, Mia Lewis, and Sofia Posner rose to the occasion with big play after big play to stop Arizona Western’s attack. Goalkeeper Lauren Pastor made two huge saves early in the second half to preserve the lead and the shutout, the second of the tournament and seventh of the season. Pastor stopped five shots in the win.
“Cali has been unbelievable, Taylor stepped in and did a great job, we were worried without Lea today but the whole defense has been fantastic these past three games,” Carswell said.
It was the first time all season that Arizona Western had been held scoreless as the Matadors came into the tournament with 110 goals on the season.
Eastern Florida State College will play for the NJCAA Division I National Championship on Saturday at 2 p.m. EST at Stryker Sports Complex in Wichita, Kansas. The Titans will play defending champions Iowa Western who defeated Cowley 1-0 in the first semifinal. It will be a rematch of last year’s national tournament semifinals in which Iowa Western won and went on to win the national championship.
“The kids have wanted it, it looked like we wouldn’t make it here, but they made the adjustments and did what they had to do,” Carswell said.
Back in Florida, EFSC President Dr. Jim Richey joined about 200 students and faculty for a watch party in the Student Union on the Melbourne Campus.
“This is another fantastic win by the team backed by great student support. Now it’s on to the finals. Go Titans! said Richey.
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