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Evan O'Leary
Evan O'Leary had seven shots, four on goal for the Bears.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Soccer Ousted From NCAA Tournament

A valiant effort by No. 5 seed Lenoir-Rhyne came up just short at top-seeded and No. 3 nationally Columbus St. on Sunday in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament, losing 1-0. The host Cougars scored in the 80th minute for the lone tally of the afternoon as LR saw it’s season come to a close.

Each side had good chances in the first half but the teams were pretty much exactly even. Each team fired eight shots in the first half.

Columbus St. had some better chances early in the second half but a clutch save by S.A. Phillips on a free kick switched the momentum. LR would then have the better opportunities and possession in the second portion of the second half but couldn’t find the back of the net. At the 79:22 mark of the contest, Columbus St. finally broke the scoreless draw. Lauren Barnes’ fifth goal of the year would eventually be the game-winner just over the outstretched hand of Phillips in the top left corner.

LR would finish with a 19-17 edge in shots and a frantic comeback attempt was withstood by the Cougars. Each side had three corner kicks in the contest. Phillips finished with five saves for the Bears.

This was the first matchup of these teams since the Columbus State 1-0 win in the 2014 NCAA Regional Finals. The Bears drop to 5-7-7 all-time record in NCAA Tournament. LR was looking for another upset in the NCAA Tournament. The Bears are 2-2-3 with all three ties being wins in penalty kicks over the past two tournaments, all coming as the lower seed in those games.

Stephanie Figuereido became the program’s all-time leader in games played with her 89 career contest surpassing the mark of 88 set by Casey McDonnell in 2011.

The Bears end the season with a record of 12-4-3 and will look to defend their SAC Regular Season title in 2023.