The Ladyjacks claimed became the outright Southland Conference champions with a 1-1 tie to Incarnate Word Sunday.
Nov. 3, 2013
SAN ANTONIO, Texas – The Stephen F. Austin Ladyjack soccer team came from behind and tied Incarnate Word 1-1 to win their third consecutive Southland Conference title in the regular season finale for both teams Sunday afternoon at the Gayle and Tom Benson Stadium.
With the double-overtime draw to the Cardinals (10-6-3, 4-5-3 SLC), SFA (15-3-2, 10-1-1 SLC) captures its eighth SLC crown in program history and first under head coach Wally Crittenden. The championship marks the first time in program history the Ladyjacks have won back-to-back-to-back title. SFA won consecutive titles in 1997-98 and 2004-05 before its recent three-year run.
The Ladyjacks also finished the regular season undefeated (8-0-2) on the road for the first time in program history.
“A fantastic end to our regular season," Crittended said. "Incarnate Word is a great team and they played really hard today on their home field. I thought we did a great job imposing ourselves on the game from the end of the first half throughout the overtime periods. That was in response to going down a goal late in the first half as well. Whether it is injuries, opponent style, or other factors, this team keeps responding to any adversity it faces. This is a special quality and is a testament to the high character and leadership on this team.
"Anytime you win a championship, it should be embraced and appreciated because it is very special. Come Tuesday though, we are all about what lies ahead for us in the conference tournament. ”
The Ladyjacks, who were guaranteed a share of the title with their 5-0 win over Texas A&M – Corpus Christi (Nov. 1), found themselves trailing for the first time since taking on No. 25 Texas (Oct. 25) when Heather McKinney gave UIW a 1-0 lead in the 39th minute.
The lone goal would span the next 33:47 until freshman Hailey Hunt scored the game-tying goal in the 73rd minute on a loose ball.
In overtime, SFA recorded four shots on goal and one corner kick before arriving at the 1-1 tie.
The Ladyjacks outshot the Cardinals 15-7 and 5-2 on goal. Senior goalkeeper Lacey Lee moved to 9-2-1 on the season in her final regular season game.
SFA, with the conference title, will enjoy an opening round bye as the first overall seed in the Southland Conference Tournament held at host McNeese State in Lake Charles, La., Nov. 7-10.