November 8, 2018
Indians Open NCAA Tournament at Carson-Newman
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. - Catawba women’s soccer unexpected run to the NCAA Championships continues Friday against familiar foe No. 14 Carson-Newman.
“Personally I am just proud of everybody, the work ethic that has gone into this whole entire season,” Co-captain Shelby Thompson said. “It feels like a big reward for everybody. No one gave us a chance and to make it this far is crazy. It is absolutely an amazing feeling.”
Predicted in August to finish sixth in the 11 team South Atlantic Conference Women’s Soccer Preseason Poll, the Indians are the seventh seed in the Southeast Region of the 2018 NCAA Division II Women’s Soccer Tournament.
Overcoming injuries, setbacks and lack of expectations from the outside, the team dug deep and found a quiet confidence and relish the opportunity ahead. The 2 p.m. matinee match at McCown Field is the third meeting in the last 13 days.
Friday's first round is the third consecutive weekend the two teams face each other, with the Lady Eagles registering 2-1 victories in both tilts. The first game went double overtime on the Lady Eagles home field in the regular season finale for both squads.
Round two at South Atlantic Conference semifinals ended last Friday at Manchester Meadows in Rock Hill, S.C. in victory for Carson-Newman. SAC Offensive Player of the Year Magda Mosengo scored twice for Carson-Newman while junior Bailey Howell netted the Indians’ loan marker.
This is the 40th meeting all-time between the schools, marking the most of any Catawba opponent. The Indians lead the all-time series 19-16-4 but have not posted a win since a 2-1 decision in 2014 on the Lady Eagles home pitch.
“I think they are excited to get another shot at Carson-Newman,” Head Coach Nick Brown said. “It is never fun when you lose to somebody twice, so we are going to go in and everything we have and see what happens. They are a good team. They made it to the National Finals for a reason last year.”
Catawba is making its sixth NCAA Tournament appearance in the 29-year history of the program. The Indians last competed in the tournament in 2008, when they defeated Georgia C&SU in the first round 2-1 in overtime.
“We have been here for three years and we have gotten to see the program grow,” Co-captain Logan Sandate said. “As a leader on this team, it makes me very proud to see people grow. This is what we have been working for. I don’t think it is luck or chance. This is what coach Brown intended for us to do. We have stuck with the game plan and it is paying off now.”