Pensacola, FL—The University of North Alabama made school history today at Brosnaham Park in Pensacola, FL, earning its first-ever Gulf South Conference Women’s Soccer Championship.
UNA (17-3-0) showed why it entered the Tournament as the No. 1 seed, rolling past No. 3 seed Valdosta State (11-6-2) in Sunday’s Title Game, 5-3. The teams combined for the most goals in GSC Tournament history and the Lions became just the ninth squad to net at least five goals in a post-season match.
North Alabama fell behind 1-0 at 23:07 when VSU’s Karly Lentz converted a penalty kick, but the Lions stormed back with two goals in the next six minutes. Midfielder Nikki Brown scored the neutralizer just 14 seconds later and Stephanie Brown added another at 29:18.
UNA put the match away with three unanswered goals in the second half. Brown provided the first two scores, becoming sixth player in Tournament history to notch a hat trick. Forward Chloe Roberts capped the Lions’ scoring off an assist from Brown at 63:01. Valdosta State pulled within 5-3, thanks to goals by Casey Ponder and Margaret Stauffer, but North Alabama’s defense locked down the Lady Blazers during the final five minutes.
Roberts was named the Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, while UNA teammates Brown, forward Jennifer Osmond, defender Stephanie Bradshawand midfielder Jo Chubb joined her on the All-Tournament Team. Closing out the 14-member squad was Valdosta State’s Emily Cooper, Abbi Edwards andOlivia Mills, Alabama-Huntsville’s Iris Gunnarsdottir, Becca Mauldin andCady Reisman and West Florida’s Tina Murray, Alex Pickrell and Tori Fish.
North Alabama also claimed the league’s automatic berth to next week’s NCAA Tournament. Location and times for the NCAA South Regional will be announced on Monday night on ncaa.com.