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UNCG women's soccer celebrates the 2017 title
Photo Courtesy of UNCG
Women's Soccer: UNCG wins 2017 SoCon Championship
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 11/05/2017

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The UNCG Spartans claimed their first SoCon Women’s Soccer Championship since 2010, defeating the Western Carolina Catamounts 1-0 on Sunday. Emily Jensen scored off a header in the 54th minute, and Aiyanah Tyler-Cooper recorded seven saves as the Spartans won the 2017 title.

Early on, UNCG and Western Carolina traded corners, but nobody converted as the two sides began to settle into the game. In the 14th minute, UNCG floated a ball into the box, where a charging Jacquelyn Gnassi was there to corral the ball. Minutes later, Wester Carolina’s Sayres McKenna got the ball on the left edge of the box, shooting just wide of the net.

The Spartans earned another corner in the 19th minute as Ashton Duty dropped a ball into the 6- yard box where Gnassi punched it off the crossbar and away.

Minutes later, Western Carolina played a through ball to a pursuing Megan McCallister, but Tyler-Cooper was there to send the ball out of harm’s way. Neither team was able to find the back of the net as the first half ended 0-0.

Just three minutes into the second half, Cienna Rideout received the ball on the left side of the box, dribbling through two defenders to fire a shot on frame that Gnassi parried away. On the ensuing corner, Gnassi charged and made another diving save to clear the box.

In the 55th minute, UNCG would receive a corner kick and capitalize on the opportunity as Jensen headed the ball into the back of the net to break the scoreless tie. In the 60th, McKenna lofted a ball on frame but Tyler-Cooper grabbed it just before crossing the line.

The Catamounts had a trio of chances in the waning minutes, but Tyler-Cooper came up each time to hold the lead for the Spartans. With less than 20 seconds to play, Western Carolina earned a corner kick but McCallister’s last-ditch effort was once again saved by Tyler-Cooper as UNCG claimed the 2017 Southern Conference Championship.

The Spartans will find out where they play during the NCAA Selection show, which airs on NCAA.com on Monday at 4:30 p.m. ET.

SoCon Women’s Soccer Championship All-Tournament Team
Jenny Allen, Furman
Virginia Poe, Furman
Kaitlyn Orman, Samford
Jermaine Seoposenwe, Samford
Jacquelyn Gnassi, Western Carolina
Sayres McKenna, Western Carolina
Emily Threatt, Western Carolina
Emily Jensen, UNCG
Regan Lehman, UNCG
Cienna Rideout, UNCG
Heida Vidarsdottir, UNCG

Most Outstanding Player
Regan Lehman, UNCG

Pinnacle Award (highest cumulative GPA among championship-eligible student-athletes on winning team)
Ashton Duty, UNCG

Kayley Tucker, UNCG

2017 SoCon Women’s Soccer Championship
Oct. 25 (Wednesday)
First round (at higher seeds)
Match 1: No. 8 ETSU 5, No. 9 Wofford 0

Match 2: No. 7 Mercer 3, No. 10 The Citadel 0

Oct. 28 (Saturday)
Quarterfinal round (at higher seeds)
Match 5: No. 2 Samford 5, No. 7 Mercer 0

Match 6: No. 3 UNCG 2, No. 6 Chattanooga 0 

Oct. 29 (Sunday)
Quarterfinal round (at higher seeds)
Match 3: No. 1 Furman 2, No. 8 ETSU 1

Match 4: No. 4 Western Carolina 1, No. 5 VMI 0

Nov. 3 (Friday)
Semifinals (Samford University Track & Soccer Stadium; Birmingham, Ala.)
Match 7: No. 4 Western Carolina, 2, No. 1 Furman 0

Match 8: No. 3 UNCG 2, No. 2 Samford 1 (2OT)

Nov. 5 (Sunday)
Final (Samford University Track & Soccer Stadium; Birmingham, Ala.)
Match 9: No. 3 UNCG 1, No. 4 Western Carolina 0

-www.SoConSports.com-