MACON, Ga. – No. 2 seed UNC Greensboro women’s soccer (15-4-1) won the Southern Conference Tournament Championship for the second-straight year with a 2-1 win over No. 5 Furman (12-7-0) Sunday afternoon at Betts Stadium. With the SoCon’s automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament, the Spartans will now await their destination with the NCAA Selection Show Monday at 4:30 p.m. on NCAA.com.
“The SoCon was very, very tough this year, and we are proud to repeat and represent our leagues in the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row,” said UNCG head coach Michael Coll. “Furman gave us a great match, and our players had to find another gear versus a fast, physical team today. The team has played great all season, and I am so proud of the players on winning 15 games and earning a shot at NCAA glory with the 63 other teams still playing Division I soccer next week.”
The SoCon Tournament Championship is the ninth in program history and second under Coll. The Spartans are the only current SoCon member to win the conference tournament in back-to-back years, having also done so in 2000-01 and 1997-98. UNCG also increased its SoCon-high Tournament Championships’ advantage over Furman (six).
Heida Ragney Vidarsdottir, who assisted on UNCG’s first goal in the game, was named the SoCon Tournament Most Outstanding Player. Emily Jensen, Grace Regal and Cienna Rideout joined Vidarsdottir on the All-SoCon Tournament Team.
Jensen scored UNCG’s first goal in the championship game and against No. 10 VMI in the quarterfinals. Rideout lead the SoCon in the tournament in points (seven) with two goals and three assists. She assisted on the last two goals against VMI, scored twice against Furman in the semifinals and set up the game-winning goal for Regal against Furman. Regal had all three game-winning goals for the Spartans in the conference tournament.
Kaley Tucker was given the Pinnacle Award, given out to the highest cumulative GPA among championship-eligible student-athletes on winning team. The Communications Studies major, who is also minoring in Spanish, has maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA since arriving to Greensboro.
Jensen broke open a scoreless game in the 31st minute. After Cienna Rideout was tripped up above the box, Jensen collected a rebound off Heida Ragney Vidarsdottir’s free kick and chipped it in from a few yards out.
Regal doubled the Spartans’ lead with the eventual game-winning goal in the 40th minute. After getting by a defender, Rideout passed the ball in the box while lying on the ground to Regal, who one-touched it in from a few yards out. Regal recorded all three game-winning goals for UNCG in the SoCon Tournament.
Furman cut its deficit in the 74th minute on a header in the box.
UNCG allowed just one shot on goal after the Furman goal. UNCG goalkeeper Aiyanah Tyler-Cooper (15-4-1) finished with six saves.
The Spartans finished with an advantage in shots (16-14), shots on goal (9-7) and corner kicks (8-3).
Grace Kennedy had a game-high three shots. Marissa Ferrantino and Jensen both two shots that were on goal.
-- UNCG –