Women’s soccer drops 2-1 heart-breaker at Cumberland

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LEBANON, Tenn. -- Senior Sara Lachance scored the match's first goal in the 23rd minute, but No. 16 and 16th-seeded Cumberland (Tenn.) scored the equalizer later in the half and netted the game winner with just over a minute left, handing the No. 14 and 17th-seeded John Brown University women's soccer team a difficult 2-1 loss in the Opening Round of the 2016 NAIA Women's Soccer National Championships on Saturday (Nov. 19) at Kirk Field at Lindsey Donnell Stadium.

The difficult loss was magnified by a 16-11 John Brown shooting advantage, including a 7-6 margin in shots on target. The Golden Eagles move to 0-4-0 all-time at the National Championships and conclude the 2016 campaign with an 18-2-1 overall record, a new program single-season best, which includes Sooner Athletic regular season and tournament championships.

John Brown had every opportunity to move onto the final site in Orange Beach, Ala., but three Golden Eagle headers off corner kicks, two from sophomore Jastin Redman and another from Lachance, were stopped at the goal line by the Phoenix (13-4-2) defense, despite beating CU keeper Ashley Kambeitz.

Kambeitz made three saves as the hosts totaled six, while senior Kristen Morency made four saves in the final match of her collegiate career. She finishes her career an astounding 52-17-9 (.667) and holds program records in career saves (335), goals-against average (.781) and clean sheets (37.2).

JBU found the board first in the 23rd minute when sophomore Anne Metz's long cross from the left flank into the box. Redman flicked along the cross and, after a moment of pinballing in the box, the ball squirted behind Kambeitz, allowing Lachance an opportunity to poke the ball into gaping net just before a pair of sliding defenders could knock away the attempt.

The lead lasted only eight minutes, however, as Cumberland evened the score on Rebecca Holloway's seventh of the season. After a failed JBU clearing attempt went awry, the Phoenix quickly counter-attacked as Kaitlen Kislowski played a square ball to an oncoming Holloway, who launched a shot from the top-right of the box to the upper left corner past Morency from 20 yards out.

The Golden Eagles out-shot Cumberland 11-5 through the first 45 minutes and racked up seven corner kick attempts.

After an initial Phoenix surge to begin the second half, John Brown retaliated with an incessant onslaught for the next 35 minutes. The best chance came when Lachance's header off an Aspen Robinson corner kick was again rejected by a CU defender stationed on the goal line in 71st minute.

The dagger came with just 61 seconds left to play on a pretty Cumberland combination passing play through the middle of the JBU defensive zone. Starting on the left flank, Savannah Moreland played a square ball to Emily Shires in the middle. With Olivia Chu overlapping, a through ball cut across the top-right of the Golden Eagle box, and Chu labeled a shot to the bottom near post past Morency for the game winner.

With the loss, the JBU careers of Morency, Lachance and Sarah Abbott came to an end.

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