GAFFNEY, SC – The No. 3 Limestone Saints (17-0) continued its unbeaten season with a 16-8 victory in the Conference Carolinas Championship game over No. 8 Pfeiffer (13-4) on a warm and sunny Saturday afternoon. The team’s entered play as the top two seeds in the Conference Tournament and easily advanced past the semifinal round but the host Saints were too much for Pfeiffer on this day. Conference Player of the Year Sarah Oor finished the afternoon with nine points as she scored four goals and handed out five assists to be propel her team to the NCAA Tournament.
Limestone came out firing on all cylinders on their home turf. Katie Farrell scored the first of five consecutive goals in the opening 5:57 of play as Limestone surged ahead. Sarah Daly stopped the hosts’ goal streak at the 22:14 mark of the first half. Less than three minutes later, Haley Gourdie took a pass from Stephanie Athens to convert on the player advantage and cut Limestone’s lead to 5-2. However, Limestone responded with back-to-back goals before senior Kristina Anderson scored her eighth goal of the season to make the score 7-3.
Jessica Aguanno beat goalkeeper Cassidy Wilson at the 14:17 mark of the first half to push Limestone’s lead to back to five. The Saints extended the lead to 9-3 with less than 10 minutes to go. In the half’s final moments, Limestone controlled the ball with 20 seconds to play behind Pfeiffer’s goal. With under one second to go, Keirsten MacLellan found a streaking Oor who scored her third goal of the half to give Limestone a 10-3 lead.
Limestone continued the scoring to start the second half, connecting on the first two goals to give the Saints a 12-3 advantage. Freshman Stephanie Athens recorded Pfeiffer’s first tally of the second half on a free position shot to make the score 12-4.
Limestone pushed the lead to as much as 11 before the Falcons mounted a comeback. Chalane Morrison, Kristi Korn, Ashleigh Kassab and Daly scored consecutive goals for Pfeiffer to put the Saints on their collective heels. However, time ran out on the Pfeiffer comeback attempt as they were unable to find the back of the net the rest of the way.
For the game, Limestone held a 29-23 disparity in shots and grabbed seven more ground balls than Pfeiffer.
Farrell scored four goals for the Saints and Taylor Cline added three.
Daly paced the Falcons with two goals and one assists while three players added two points. Katherine Athens led all players with six ground ball and five draw controls and added one caused turnover, giving her a Division II-leading 52 on the year.
Cassidy Wilson played the first 36:41 in net before giving way to Rachel McCarthy at the 23:19 mark of the second half. Wilson made six saves while McCarthy made three stops.
Kristina Anderson, Chalane Morrison and Savannah Phillips were named to the All-Tournament team.
Today’s battle was a rematch of the regular season conference finale on April 12 as each team entered unbeaten in conference play. Pfeiffer held a five goal lead with 15:07 to play before the Saints rallied to score the last seven goals to steal a 12-10 victory and clinch the regular season crown.
Pfeiffer will find out its postseason fate on Sunday, May 4 at 8:00 p.m. on the NCAA Division II Selection Show. The selection will be streamed live on NCAA.com as the eight team field is announced. Pfeiffer is currently ranked third in the region and Limestone is number one. The Falcons made the tournament for the first time in school history last season and look to make it two straight trips to nationals after a strong season this year.