10/25/06 — White, Trojans advance to CVAC semifinals

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White, Trojans advance to CVAC semifinals

By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on October 25, 2006 2:24 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Kirsten White broke open a close game with two goals late in the second half and goalkeeper Ali O'Steen made saves on three close-range shots, including a save on a rebound off a missed penalty kick as No. 3 seed Mount Olive defeated No. 6 seed Barton 4-0 in the first round of the 2006 Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference Women's Soccer Tournament Tuesday at Trojan Field. The win, Mount Olive's fourth in a row and 11th in its last 13 matches, advances the Trojans to Friday's semifinal round, which will also be played at Trojan Field.

Mount Olive (15-6-0) withstood an early scare when O'Steen dove to deflect a 15-yard shot by Dillon Sauls in the fourth minute of play to keep the match scoreless. The Trojans got on the scoreboard in the 17th minute when April Jacobs' centering pass found Lyndsay Brennan at the top of the box. Brennan chipped the ball forward to Emily Escolas, who slipped past the keeper for her fifth goal of the season.

Barton (9-8-0) had an opportunity to tie the match in the 29th minute when a Trojan foul in the box led to a Bulldog penalty kick. But the penalty shot caromed off the right post and O'Steen made a clean save on the follow-up from 15 yards out to preserve the shutout.

Barton goalkeeper Ashley Gregory made a dramatic save of her own in the 37th minute to keep the Bulldogs within a goal, tipping a close-range shot by White just wide of the right post. But Mount Olive was able to add a goal before halftime when Jacobs' restart from 28 yards out in the 42nd minute deflected off a Barton defender into the goal to give the Trojans a 2-0 lead at the break.

Mount Olive weathered a storm early in the second half when Barton had two shots from close range in a span of less than a minute. After Allie Wilkerson's shot from 20 yards out was just high, Barton won a 50-50 ball to set up an open shot by Tara Davis at the top of the box in the 61st minute. But O'Steen tipped the ball over the crossbar and the Trojans were able to prevent Barton from getting a shot off on the ensuing corner kick.

The Trojans got some breathing room in the 76th minute when CVAC Player of the Week Caitlyn Wright served a corner kick to Jacobs, who found White in front of the goal to give Mount Olive a 3-0 lead. White added her second goal of the match and 13th of the season in the 84th minute, scoring from 15 yards out off a double assist by Jackie Jimenez and Gina Dos Santos.

Jacobs' two assists give her 18 for the season, breaking the school record of 16 set by Heidi Philip in 2004. Jacobs moves back into a tie for first place in the nation in total assists.

O'Steen finished with five saves on her way to her ninth shutout of the season. Gregory recorded three saves for Barton. Mount Olive outshot Barton 10-7.

In Tuesday's other first-round matches, No. 2 seed Belmont Abbey defeated No. 7 Erskine 2-0, while No. 4 Pfeiffer defeated No. 5 Limestone 1-0. Top-seeded Queens was playing host to No. 8 Lees-McRae under the lights.

Mount Olive advances to the "final four" for the third consecutive year. The Trojans won the championship in 2004 and finished as runners-up last year.

Mount Olive is the host for the CVAC Tournament semifinals and championship, which take place Friday and Saturday at Trojan Field. Pfeiffer will take on the Queens/Lees-McRae winner at noon, followed at 2:30 p.m. by Mount Olive against Belmont Abbey in a rematch of last year's championship match. This year's championship will be decided Saturday at 3 p.m. at Trojan Field.