Sydney Golden & Radford Soccer Win Big South Conference, face Duke in NCAA Tournament
November 8, 2011Dunbar Girls Soccer
CHARLESTON, S.C. – Megan Rhodes’ (Blacksburg, Va./Blacksburg) header off a free kick in the 80th minute led Radford women’s soccer past No. 3 Campbell, 1-0, and gave the Highlanders their fourth Big South Championship in program history Sunday afternoon at Blackbaud Stadium.
Radford (15-5-1) improved to 4-0 all-time in the Big South title match. The Highlanders will receive the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
In a unique situation, Rhodes moved to striker after playing defense for the majority of the season. After Tyler Drake (Palmyra, Va./Fluvanna County) was taken down 10 yards from midfield, Sydney Golden (Lexington, Ky./Paul L. Dunbar) served a ball in the box that found Rhodes, who beat Campbell’s Ryann Torrero to the left side for the game-winning score.
“It was such a team effort today and the fact that I was there to put the ball in the net was incredible. We worked so hard to get to this point and I’m glad I was able to help us get there,” commented Rhodes.
It was Golden’s team-leading seventh assist on the year and Rhodes put up a career-high five shots.
“I want to give a lot of credit to Campbell because they’re an extremely good team. Coach Clark has done a remarkable job this year,” commented head coach Ben Sohrabi. “Set pieces decide games in championships and Megan rose up and was a hero. The rest of the team buckled down and finished.”
Sahar Aflaki (Gainesville, Va./Battlefield) was named tournament MVP for her four goals scored and also garnered a spot on the all-tournament team. Golden, Maryellen Derenda (Manassas, Va/Osbourn Park) and Rachel Conway (Ontario, Canada/Forest Heights Collegiate) joined Aflaki on the team.
Lisa Lubke (Columbus, Ohio/St. Francis DeSales) had five saves in the first half while Brown tallied two in the second frame. Campbell’s Torrerro had nine saves.
“The feeling of going to the NCAA’s is incredible. I’ve done it before and it never gets old. For these girls, I’m so happy that they get to experience it.”
The NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer selection show will air live on NCAA.com at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, November 7.
The Highlanders became the first No. 1 seed to win the championship since South Alabama in 1997.
RADFORD, Va. – In its fifth appearance all-time, Radford women’s soccer will take on No. 3 Duke in the first round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament Sunday at 2 p.m. in Durham, N.C.