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JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. — For the first time in program history, the third-ranked Columbus State University women’s soccer team is headed to the Final Four after a 2-0 victory over fourth-ranked Barry on Sundayafternoon. The NCAA quarterfinal match was played at McCown Field in Jefferson City, Tenn.
The Lady Cougars will take on East Region champion and fifth-ranked Bridgeport on Thursday, Dec. 3 in the national semifinals. The Final Four will be played at Ashton Brosnahan Soccer Stadium in Pensacola, Fla.
“I was really proud of our girls today,” said head coach Jay Entlich. “They believed all year this was going to be our year and that says a lot about the character of this team.
“We’re not done though. A lot of teams are satisfied with just getting to the Final Four, but we realize the job is not done yet. We want to be the team holding the trophy at the end.”
As it has done for much of the year, Columbus State (21-2-1) struck first, finding the net in the match’s 10th minute. Chelsea Person placed a corner kick onto the back post that was headed toward the goal by Mandy Janowitz. Hugrun Elvarsdottir finished the sequence off with a header into the net to put CSU in front. The goal was the second of the year for the sophomore.
Less than one minute later, it looked as if the Lady Cougars were going to find the net for a second time. Olivia Jarrell played a ball into the box from the right side that was knocked down by the Barry keeper. With the keeper out of the play, the rebound rolled onto the foot of Taylor Marks who ripped a shot at the open net. Barry’s defenders stepped in at the last moment however, and deflected the shot wide keeping the match at 1-0.
From there, the game began to pick up rhythm as Maylyn Parsons came up huge in net for Columbus State. The junior made five saves in the opening 45 minutes, keeping the Lady Cougars in front by a goal at halftime.
After the break, Nicole Corcione charged toward the net and delivered a strong shot right off the kickoff. The shot sailed just wide of the mark though keeping the lead at one.
Barry (15-3-1) continued to find chances to tie the match, but the CSU backline deflected a pair of shots and Parsons added two more saves before the Lady Cougars put the match away.
With less than 15 minutes to play, Barry committed a foul at the top of the box giving the Lady Cougars a dangerous free kick. Marks took a shot at net that was knocked down by the Buccaneers defense. The ball fell right in front of the net where Corcione was able to tap it home to seal the win. The Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year now has 15 tallies on the season.
Parsons made seven saves in goal for the Lady Cougars, earning the team’s 13th shutout of the year.
Columbus State outshot Barry 18-15 on the day.