HICKORY — The sixth-seeded University of Mount Olive women’s soccer fell in the opening round of the NCAA DII Women’s Soccer Southeast Regional 1-0 over the No. 3 seeded No. 18 Nighthawks of the University of North Georgia at the Moretz Complex Friday afternoon in Hickory. The loss ended the most prestigious season in program history with the team’s first-ever NCAA tournament appearance.
The Trojans came out of the gates behind as North Georgia was able to get the first goal of the game 8:18 into the match. The Nighthawks kept up the pressure firing off four more shots over the next 12 minutes but the Trojans held strong. UMO did not record it’s first shot until the 27th minute, but it was off target and the woes for the Trojans continued. Mount Olive was outshot 15-to-3 in the first period and despite outplaying the Nighthawks in the second half holding them to just eight shots, to the Trojans seven, a comeback was not in the cards and Mount Olive fell 1-0 in the program’s first-ever NCAA tournament appearance.
Mount Olive was led by Jasmine Pinter who led the team in shots with three, two on frame.
Taylor Lewis (13-1-3) in goal for the Trojans recorded seven saves on eight shots in between the posts.
“It was a great season and North Georgia capitalizing on one mistake we made in the first half and in the second half, our girls were just fabulous. They [were] what they were all year; they fought until the end, that’s why they’re conference champions. It’s why we had so many come from behind and overtime victories this year and as a coach and the head of the program I couldn’t be more proud of them,” said head coach Sharif Saber.
“Unfortunately we didn’t come out as strong as we would have liked to and they got ahead and by the time we showed up to play we couldn’t put one away. I’m proud of the fight the girls had and the will we’ve had all season. It’s what’s gotten us here and that’s what’s going to keep this program alive and keep going,” said senior Jaelyn Brown.
Mount Olive with the loss sees their most prestigious season come to an end earning the first-ever overall Conference Carolinas Regular Season Championship, second-ever Tournament Championship, and first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance and went 14-1-3 overall and 9-0-2 in conference play.