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Another day, another final 4

TMC women’s soccer team reaches the semifinals of the NCCAA tourney

Posted: December 3, 2009 10:32 p.m.
Updated: December 4, 2009 4:30 a.m.
The Master’s College women’s soccer team appears to be settling in nicely in Kissimmee, Fla.

One day prior to their quarterfinal match, the Mustangs struggled to find their groove in the opening round of the National Christian College Athletics Association Tournament.

Not so on Thursday.

TMC scored four goals in the first half, including two from junior forward Emily Bruton to earn a 4-1 victory over Judson University to advance to the semifinals.

“I was excited to watch our girls play quality soccer again,” said Mustangs head coach Curtis Lewis. “The tournament director said that was the team they expected us to be. They were excited to watch us and see that type of soccer.”

TMC registered a lackluster 1-0 overtime victory over Palm Beach Atlantic on Wednesday as the team adjusted back to life on the pitch.

The Mustangs wasted little time getting on the scoreboard.

In the fourth minute, Bruton received a pass from Andie Reyes, split the defense and beat Eagles goalkeeper Mackenzie Fowler one-on-one.

Minutes later, Bruton added her second goal of the day off the assist from Robyn Estrada, making the score 2-0.

“We had a little chat this morning about coming out and playing — playing for the Lord, the team and representing the conference,”
Lewis said. “The girls took it well.”

Judson senior midfielder Christina Thornton cut the lead to 2-1 on a TMC defensive breakdown midway through the half, with the assist credited to forward Ashley Williams.

But the Mustangs bounced back in the 25th minute when Canyon graduate Sierra Goff found freshman Rachel Hartenberger for a 3-1 lead.

Goff added a second assist in the 34th minute when, after receiving a throw-in, passed to sophomore forward Lauren Fretz, who hammered home the final goal of the game.

The score was 4-1 going into the halftime.

In the second half, Lewis substituted his starters in order to give his bench players more experience.

“We actually got to play everyone on the team, so that was really, really good,” he said. “Girls who hardly got any minutes all year got some time on the field.”

Up next, The Master’s College will play Olivet Nazarene, the team that beat the Mustangs 2-1 in the NCCAA finals one year ago, at 3 p.m. on Saturday.


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