Women’s soccer stays unbeaten in route to eighth SCAC title in 10 years

The top-seeded Trinity Tigers women’s soccer team won its fifth straight Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship with a 5-0 shutout over the second seed Southwestern Pirates at Texas Lutheran University on Sunday, November 10th. The Tigers remained undefeated all season.

Head Coach Lance Key has now guided the Tigers to eight SCAC Championships in the past 10 seasons. Overall, Trinity has captured 18 conference titles since 1992.

“We’re playing some of our best soccer right now, which is what we want in postseason. And of course it’s always great to win conference so we qualify for the NCAA tournament,” said Key.

The team reached the championship match after a 7-0 shutout victory over the University of Dallas on Saturday, November 9th.

Junior midfielder Emily Jorgens enjoyed a record-breaking night in the game, dishing out a school record of five assists for the Tigers.  She assisted on each of the first four goals scored by Trinity in the first half, then picked up another in the second half to break the school record.

With the five points, Jorgens also broke the Trinity record for points in a single season with a total of 61 so far in 2013.  She also tied the Tiger career mark for assists with the 58th of her career during the game, drawing even with Erica Adelstein (1999-02).  This season, Jorgens has recorded 27 total assists to extend the school record she  recently broke, and she is nearing the NCAA Division III record of 30 for a single season.

Junior midfielder Kelsey Falcone also picked up a hat trick in the game, which was the second time in her career that she has scored three goals in a game.  She knocked in the eventual game-winner in the ninth minute, then picked up her second less than four minutes later.  Falcone also added another to start off the second half of play.  She also assisted on Trinity’s third goal in the 16th minute, giving her seven total points in the game.

“Our preparation was the same as every game. The only difference is that we went into it knowing that if we don’t get a result, we don’t continue our road to the national championship. I think that really fueled our relentless mindset,” said Falcone.

Senior forward Shelby Guenthardt scored the final goal of the first half for the Tigers, putting Trinity up 5-0 by halftime. Guenthardt becomes the fourth player in school history to score 50 or more goals in a career.  She attributes her accomplishment to the help of her teammates and believes that credit is due to them as well.

“I just feel blessed to have been surrounded with the players I have been over the past four years who made my job easy with the balls they played in to me. I couldn’t have scored one without them, so it’s a team accomplishment really,” said Guenthardt.

Sophomore midfielder Maggie Olvera and first-year forward Brigette Taylor also picked up goals in the game, while senior midfielder Michelle Lanier had a goal and an assist.

Falcone was selected as the Tournament Offensive MVP. Falcone scored two goals on Sunday, including the game-winner in the second minute of play. She then scored the opener of the second half, in the 55th minute, which gave the Tigers a 4-0 lead. Falcone has netted a team-leading 19 goals (four game-winners) this season. Jorgens supplied the assist to Falcone’s first goal. Jorgens has also contributed 17 goals during the campaign.

“It’s a great feeling. The best part is seeing how many people got to contribute to my success and our success as a team. Emily Jorgens assisted all three of my goals on Friday as a part of her five assists that night. It was refreshing to see our creativity in the offensive third that allowed us to be so successful,” said Falcone.

Jorgens’ assist was also the 59th of her career, which breaks the Trinity career record that she tied during the previous game in which she scored a record five assists against Dallas.

Sophomore midfielder Emily Donnan was named Tournament Defensive MVP. Donnan and the Tigers defensive unit did not allow a goal in 180 minutes of action, and held the two opponents to only five total shots. The Pirates were limited to one shot in the matchup.

Junior midfielder Hannah Kuhl scored the second goal of the championship game in the 36th minute, and Taylor put one past the Pirates keeper four minutes later. Kuhl also registered two assists on the goals by Taylor and Falcone.

The final scoring play came in the 68th minute on a goal by Lanier, with first-year midfielder Jordan Leeper dishing out the assist.

Guenthardt had two assists in the title game, and was joined by first-year midfielder Yasmeen Farra in the column.

“I think we’re playing better as a team this year than we have in the past, which has contributed to our success. Our ability to find each other and combine going forward has resulted in scoring a lot of goals, and the ability to defend as a team and win the ball back quickly has allowed us to concede very little throughout the season,” Guenthardt said.

Second-ranked Trinity (21-0-1) garnered an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Playoffs after the championship match. In the first round, the Tigers will face off against Augustana (Ill.) tomorrow at 5 p.m. at Illinois Wesleyan University.