BELMONT, NC - Pfeiffer University claimed the 2010 Conference Carolinas women's soccer tournament championship in a shootout on Saturday at Belmont Abbey's Alumni Field. The Lady Falcons topped #1 seed Belmont Abbey 9-8 in the shootout after forcing the extra soccer by eliminating a two-goal second-half deficit. The match ends officially as a 2-2 with Pfeiffer advancing on PK's.
The Lady Falcons now receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament as it improves to 13-5-2, while the Abbey is now 17-1-3 and will await word if it will be awarded an at-large bid to next weekend's NCAA Southeast Regional.
After a scoreless first half in which the Abbey outshot the Falcons 4-2, the Crusaders drew first blood in the 52nd minute. Emily Archer was pulled down on the very edge of the penalty area, and Connie Axiotis buried the penalty kick to give the Abbey a 1-0 lead.
Nine minutes later, Silvia Vazquez widened the gap to 2-0 with a header goal off of a cross from Nicole Voets.
14 minutes later, three players received red cards, two for the Abbey and one for Pfeiffer, which reduced the play for the rest of the match to ten on nine. 3:28 after the dismissals, Jessica Moulton cut the deficit to one with a high-arcing shot from 30 yards out that dipped in just below the crossbar and over the out-stretched arms of goalkeeper Anna Donaldson.
Four minutes later, Moulton struck again, hammering home a shot off of a cross from Lindsay Godwin to knot the match at two.
Neither team scored in the two ten minute extra periods, so a shootout ensued to decide a winner.
Each team missed one shot in the best-of-five session, forcing a do-or-die round, in which the teams combined to make the first eight shots. After a Donaldson save of Hanna Holmstrom, Archer could have won the shootout with a goal, but Jamie Alcala stopped her attempt.
The next three shots were true, leaving Axiotis to keep the shootout going, but her attempt slid just wide left as Pfeiffer claimed the win.
Belmont Abbey outshot Pfeiffer 17-10 and held a 9-4 lead in corner kicks. Pfeiffer was whistled for 14 fouls to just four for the Crusaders.
Moulton was named the tournament's MVP with four other Lady Falcons making the list. Those four include Sheena Regan, Sara McCormack, Serae Mele and Wemple.