CAA CHAMPIONS: Old Dominion Women's Soccer Advances To First Ever NCAA Tournament
Nov. 4, 2006
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (November 4, 2006) - Old Dominion sophomore forward Shavon Knight's third goal of the game with 4:44 remaining in overtime gave the fourth-seeded Lady Monarchs a 3-2 victory over #6 James Madison in the finals of the 2006 CAA Women's Soccer Championship Saturday afternoon at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex.
It is ODU's first-ever CAA women's soccer title and the Lady Monarchs (17-4-1) earn the league's automatic berth to next week's NCAA Women's Soccer Championship. JMU (11-9-2), which upset #3 VCU and #2 UNC Wilmington to reach the finals, had its seven-match unbeaten streak come to an end.
Monarch Coach Joe Pereira said that his team worked hard and deserves its first-ever bid to the NCAA tournament.
"It was preparation meets opportunity. And we seized it," Pereira said.
On the game-winning goal, ODU junior Katie Watson fed a pass to sophomore Janna Pearson in the left side of the box. Pearson sent a perfect cross to Knight, who completed her second career hat trick by firing into an open net from five yards out. Knight, who was selected as the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, has 13 goals on the season.
"I couldn't have done it without my teammates," Knight said afterwards. "This is just unbelievable."
JMU jumped out to a quick 1-0 advantage just 6:55 into the match. Sophomore Kimmy Germain lofted a pass down the middle of the field to senior Sarah Cebulski, who beat ODU goalkeeper Lauren Tupman at the top of the box and converted a 15-yard shot into an empty net. The goal was Cebulski's eighth of the season while Germain picked up her seventh assist.
The Lady Monarchs drew even in the 21st minute when Pearson chipped a pass on the right side to Knight, who dribbled past the defender and floated a shot inside the left post.
The Dukes regained the lead in the 58th minute when junior Annie Lowry corralled the rebound of her own shot and sent a pass across the goalmouth to a charging Melanie Schaffer, who volleyed the ball into an open net from five yards out. Schaffer's goal was her second of the season.
ODU tied the match in the 73rd minute on Knight's second goal of the afternoon. Knight took a pass from Watson at the top of the box, moved around a defender and beat JMU goalie Missy Reimert to the right side from 10 yards away for her 12th goal of the year.
The Lady Monarchs nearly won the game in the final minute of regulation as Pearson fired a hard shot out of a crowd in the middle of the box, but Dukes' sophomore back Rachel Chupein was able to block the attempt on the goal line.
Shots in the game were tied at 24-24 and corners were 6-6 in a wide-open offensive affair. Tupman made eight saves for the Lady Monarchs while Reimert stopped six shots for the Dukes.
Joining Knight on the CAA All-Tournament team from ODU were Watson, senior Heather Vaughan and senior Heather Jones. Making the squad from JMU were senior Lyanne Dupra, senior Sarah Cebulski and freshman Corky Julien. Rounding out the team were Nicole Smith and Kelly Renkin of UNC Wilmington and Lauren Bowers and Donna Mataya of William & Mary.
When asked about how he felt about going to his first ever NCAA Division I Tournament, Coach Pereira just echoed his star forwards sentiments:
"This is simply unbelievable."