PORTLAND, Ore. – In a mirror image of the regular season matchup between the Warriors and Cavaliers, Corban's women's soccer team put the National Association of Collegiate Athletics’ No. 1-ranked Concordia into a first half deficit before the host team charged back en route to securing a 2-1 victory Saturday in the Cascade Collegiate Conference Tournament finals played at Delta Park.
Freshman Audrey Sullivan scored the game's opening goal in the 26th minute when she stole an attempted clearance pass by Concordia's defense and rifled a 25-yard shot into the back of the net for her ninth goal of the season.
Keeping the high-scoring Concordia offense off the board was challenging for the Warriors, as the Cavaliers knotted the game at 1-all in the 53rd minute when Kaitlyn Tebbs rebounded a Tahlia O'Loughlin shot into the back of the net giving Concordia new life.
Fifteen minutes later, Concordia was awarded a penalty kick after the Warrior defense was whistled for a foul in the box. Stepping up the circle was the Cavaliers' Lauryn Helmers, who shot the ball into the back of the net past a diving Corban keeper for the eventual game-winner.
Corban's offense stepped up the pressure as the Warriors registered seven shots versus Concordia's zero. The Cavaliers keeper came up big with a pair of saves, while Corban's last scoring opportunity came in the 86th minute when freshman Tera McDonough ricocheted a shot off the cross bar that was cleared away by Concordia's defense.
Freshman goalkeeper Alexis Beattie registered five saves in her first championship game for Corban, while Concordia's Tori Talbutt snagged a game-high seven saves en route to picking up the win.
Overall, Corban outshot Concordia by one (16-15) as both teams tallied six shots in the first half with the visiting Warriors getting off 10 over the final 45 minutes compared to the Cavaliers' nine.
With the win, Concordia secures the conference's automatic berth to the 2010 NAIA Women's Soccer National Championship tournament and improves to 18-0-2 on the season. Meanwhile, Corban falls to 16-4-0 this year and will have to wait to see if it can grab one of the at-large berths into next week's national tournament. If the Warriors do not get into the NAIA tournament then they will have to wait and see if the National Christian College Athletic Association awards them the West Region berth.
Also on Saturday, the CCC announced that sophomore Emily Tsugawa was named Offensive Player of the Year and freshman Audrey Sullivan earned Co-Newcomer of the Year, as Corban's women's soccer team placed seven players on the all-conference team that included a trio of 1st team members.
This is the first time since 2004 that a member of Corban's women's soccer team has been named Cascade Collegiate Conference Player of the Year.
Tsugawa was joined on the All-Cascade Collegiate Conference 1st team by senior Katie Hanson and junior Amanda Mendenhall while senior Genessa Neeser and Sullivan were named as part of the 2nd team. A pair of seniors, Melissa Malone and Erin Stokes, earned all-conference honorable mention recognition.
Thanks to a team-high 12 goals, seven assists, and 31 points, Tsugawa earned the league's Offensive Player of the Year award as voted by the conference coaches. The fleet-footed forward tied for the league lead in points with Oregon Tech's Crystal Foster, while finishing a mere two goals behind Foster for the conference lead in that category. Tsugawa netted a team-leading four game-winning goals en route to earning her second career post season honor.
Sullivan is the program's first Newcomer of the Year sharing the award with Concordia's Adrienne Lommasson. The first-year Warrior finished second on the team with 20 points thanks to eight goals and four assists en route to earning All-CCC 2nd team honors. Sullivan registered a team-high 69 shots, including a team-best 32 on-goal to go along with three game-winning goals.