After upsetting undefeated and No. 2 West Florida in a thrilling 1-0 overtime win in the second round the Lee women's soccer team has earned the right to host the 2018 NCAA Women's Soccer Third and Quarterfinal rounds at the Lee Soccer Field on Friday and Sunday.
The Lady Flames will draw a familiar foe in conference rival Mississippi College on Friday at 7 p.m. in the South Region Championship. The Choctaws pulled an upset of their own with a 2-1 win over Sunshine State Conference Champion Barry University on Sunday.
Mia Hollingsworth had scored 12 goals earlier this season, but her 13th turned out to be magical as Lee advanced in South Region play with a thrilling 1-0 overtime victory over the University of West Florida on Sunday afternoon. Hollingsworth's goal came just over two-minutes deep into the overtime period (2:08). The senior was able to beat the Argo defender down the left side and drilled her shot over the head of the West Florida keeper and into the left corner of the net.
"It goes without saying that hosting the region finals and quarterfinal game is an incredible opportunity for us. Being able to play on our home field in front of our fans is always a huge boost especially during big games. We would love for all our fans at Lee and in the community to come out and support us – they really do make the difference," said head coach Chris Hennessey who improved to 4-3 in the NCAA National Tournament with the pair victories last weekend.
"Last weekend was physically and emotionally draining for everyone involved. It is important for us to concentrate on Friday's game and put all the distractions aside. We now have a couple of days to prepare and make sure we are ready from the moment the whistle blows," added Hennessey.
Lee is 4-2-1 all-time against Mississippi College. The Choctaws won 3-1 in Clinton, Miss. back on Sept. 30 but since that loss the red hot Lady Flames are 9-3 and have outscored their opponents, 29-7.
The Southeast Region Championship will serve as the prelude on Friday with top-seeded Columbus State taking on Lincoln Memorial at 4 p.m. The Cougars rolled to a 4-0 win over Flagler on Sunday to advance to the Sweet 16. Lincoln Memorial, the sixth seed in the Southeast region, topped third-seeded Lander in penalty kicks after a 2-2 draw and then knocked off No. 2 seed Carson-Newman in another shootout to survive and advance.
The winners on Friday will advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Lee Soccer Field. The Final Four is slated for Nov. 29 in Pittsburgh, Pa. with the National Championship set for Dec. 1
Fans can watch all of the action for just $10 for adults and $5 for college students and kids under 18. Lee University students and faculty/staff will receive free admission with a valid Lee University ID.
Those who can't attend can watch all the action live at leeuflames.com and follow @LeeUFlames on Twitter for updates and all the latest news regarding the NCAA D2 Women's Soccer National Championship Third and Quarterfinal Rounds.
Click here to see the full NCAA D2 Women's Soccer National Championship Bracket
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