By Randy Speer, The Circuit.
ORANGE BEACH, Alabama – The Benedictine women’s soccer team will get a rematch of last year’s NAIA quarterfinal game in the second round of the 2016 NAIA National Tournament as they play host-team Mobile at 6:30 p.m. CST at the Orange Beach SportsPlex.
The Lady Ravens come into the match up riding a 13-game winning streak, their most recent a 3-1 win over Cardinal Stritch University in the opening round of the NAIA Women’s Soccer National Tournament.
Mobile comes into the match off a first-round bye awarded to them as the host team. The Rams last game came back on Nov. 11 when they fell 2-1 in the Southern States conference tournament semifinals.
Benedictine is not the offensive juggernaut it was last year, amassing 60 goals compared to the 94 entering the quarterfinals last year.
Junior Rosie McShane, the two-time Heart Offensive and Overall Player of the Year, has been the corner stone of the Lady Raven offense with 13 goals and 6 assists.
Freshman Emily Ambuul and sophomore Olivia Meyers provide a secondary attack for Benedictine. Ambuul is the second-leading goal scorer with 10 goals, while Meyers leads the team in assists with 11 to go along with eight goals.
Junior Abbie Hair and freshman Sydney Routh both also have added seven goals.
Senior Liz Intfen has quietly added four goals from her center back position.
For the Rams, Tyler-Rae Molloy will be the player to watch. She paces the offense with 20 goals and 14 assists. Cayla Herbert mixes in on the offense end as well, scoring 12 goals and assisted on three more.
Benedictine will trot Ellen Loughman out to protect the net. The junior missed the final regular season game and all of the conference tournament due to a hand injury before returning for the opening round of the national tournament.
Loughman in 18 games has allowed 12 goals while racking up 52 saves.
Mobile sends out Cecilia Duarte in the keeper slot. The Inglewood, California native has notched nine shutouts to go along with 13 saves and 44 saves.
The teams have only met one previous time and the last time was a match to remember.
Liz Enna kept Benedictine alive in quarterfinal with goal from 19 yards out in the 104th minute in the second overtime period to give the Lady Ravens a 2-1 win.
Both teams will be very familiar with each other, as both sides return nine players from last year’s meeting.
Circuit Online editor Randy Speer will be on hand for the national tournament. Follow @RandySpeer_BC and @BC_Circuit for updates. Check bccircuit.com for recaps of the game and stories from the beach.
The game will be broadcast online through the NAIA Network. Single day passes can be purchased for $9.95, while an all-championship package is available at $29.95, according to NAIA.com.
Around the Heart
The only other remaining Heart member in the national tournament is Baker. The No. 13 seeded Wildcats take on No. 4 William Carey, Southern State conference companion to Mobile, at 4 p.m.
A win by both Benedictine and Baker would match-up the Heart rivals for the second time in the calendar year in a national tournament game. The other was in the women’s basketball Fab Four when the Wildcats bested the Lady Ravens.