CNU Clinches Regular Season Championship With 2-1 Win Over Shenandoah
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. -- A pair of quick scores from senior Kendall Dishaw and 90 minutes of tight defense helped the Christopher Newport University women's soccer team secure their second straight USA South Regular Season Championship. CNU (9-7-1, 7-1-1) dropped Shenandoah University (13-6-0, 7-2-0) in the final regular season game of the year, 2-1, to seal the win.
The Captains will be the #1 seed in next week's USA South Tournament and will host #8-seeded N.C. Wesleyan on Tuesday night at 7 pm in the Quarterfinal round. Shenandoah finishes out the season with a 7-2-0 mark in league play, and will be the #2 seed with the tiebreak over Averett University.
Dishaw and the Captains quickly gave the home team the lead, scoring just 3:37 into the game off of a corner kick. Junior defender Julie Jennings sent a pretty cross in from the corner where it hit the deck once before it found Dishaw's feet for the soft touch into the right side of the goal.
Then, just 7:25 into the game, Dishaw added a second goal, this time off an assist by rookie Kelsey Thomas. The freshman midfielder chipped the keeper from inside the box, and Dishaw pounded home the open net goal to give CNU a 2-0 advantage.
With a 2-0 lead early in the first half, the Captains then locked down defensively. The CNU defense allowed just two shots on-goal in the first 45 minutes, and junior goalkeeper Meghan Gumbs collected both of them.
The Hornets would not go quietly, though, scoring a quick goal of their own in the second half. Under a minute after the second half whistle blew, Taylor Oehm connected off an assist by Jenna Kline. The pass inside the box found Oehm wide open on the left side for the easy touch in to cut the lead to one.
Shenandoah continued to press, with the regular season championship on the line, sending more players forward as the time ticked by. With under ten minutes remaining, the Hornets thought they had the equalizer on a scrum in the goalmouth, but Gumbs came up with a big save right on the goal line.
Gumbs made five saves in the contest, giving up just the one goal in the game and preserving the win for CNU. The Captains took 19 shots in the game, led by Emma O'Reilly with five and Joy Piirto with four.
Shenandoah was led by katie Cataldo, with four shots, two on-goal, while Amber Womack added three shots, one on-frame. It was just the fourth game this season that three-time First Team All-Conference goalkeeper Kat Terza had allowed more than one goal.
The Captains wrapped up their third regular season conference title under fourth-year head coach Ruth Keegan, and second straight. CNU opens the 2011 USA South Tournament at home on Tuesday, taking on the Battling Bishops at 7pm. CNU dropped NCWC, 4-0, on the road Friday.
SU 0 1 1 CNU 2 0 2 3:37 CNU Dishaw, Kendall (6) from Jennings 7:25 CNU Dishaw, Kendall (7) from Thomas 45:48 SU Oehm, Taylor (4) from Kline Shots: SU (15), CNU (19) Corner Kicks: SU (6), CNU (3) Saves: SU-Terza (5); CNU-Gumbs (5)