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Neve Duston
Neve Duston scored the game winning penalty kick to advance the Bears to the regionals.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Soccer Advances to SAC Tournament Contest

All the Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Soccer team needed to advance to Sunday’s SAC Tournament championship game was a 4th minute goal from Neve Duston as the Bears defeated the Carson-Newman Eagles 2-0 on Friday morning in the SAC Semifinals from Matthews, N.C. The Bears got an own goal in the 20th minute to extend the lead as the Bears tied the single season record with their 12th shutout of the year to move on to Sunday’s title game. The Bears will look for their fourth SAC Tournament title and their first since the 2020-21 Spring Season.

LR did not waste anytime jumping on the Eagles as LR scored on their first shot attempt in the 4th minute. Elin Hansson set up Duston for the early strike for Duston’s 50th career point. With Hansson’s assist, the Bears now have 43 assists on the season, which is the second most in a single season in program history.

The Bears got an own goal from the Eagles to extend the lead to 2-0 in the 20th minute.

Eagles were held without a shot in the first half while the Bears scored the two goals and had 13 shots in the half. After not having a shot in the first 45 minutes, C-N had eight shots in the second half, including three on goal. S.A. Phillips stopped all three to keep the Eagles off the scoreboard.

LR finished with a 17-8 shot advance and had nine corner kick opportunities in the game to help the Bears move to their 10th SAC title game.

Bears extended their winning streak to 13 games, the longest active streak in all of Division II Duston went the first eight games without a goal but has scored eight goals in the last ten games since. Duston also tied the program record with her 89th career game.

The Bears rose to No. 6 in the coaches poll that was released on Wednesday.

The Bears had 12 shutouts in the 2012 and 2022 seasons as the 2023 team joined these teams with their 12th shutout on the season.

LR is 15-0-3 on the season. The Bears will face Catawba at 1:00 PM on Sunday as the Bears look to secure both the regular season and the tournament SAC titles.