HCC women's soccer finishes 4th in national tourney

November 23, 2011

The Harford Community College women's soccer team brought home a fourth place national tournament finish over the weekend in Melbourne, Fla., where they competed in the 2011 NJCAA Division I National Tournament.

The Owls (16-3-0) fell 3-1 in the consolation game Sunday to second-ranked Scottsdale. Despite the loss, the Fighting Owls fourth place finish is the highest in school history.

Freshman Rachel Keeley scored the lone Harford goal, while sophomore goalie Audrey Baldwin made 11 saves. The sophomore class finished their careers with a 31-4-1 record and conference, region and district championships.

The Owls were bounced into the consolation round Friday after another 3-1 loss. This one to Tyler in a national semifinal.

Keeley scored in the 23rd minute for Harford to knot the score at 1-1. The rookie all-conference performer was awarded a free kick from 40 yards out and sent a laser that ricocheted off the crossbar and in for her second goal of the season.

Tyler scored just 52 seconds into the contest, and despite controlling possession for the majority of the first half, the Harford defense held the high-scoring Apache offense scoreless the rest of the half.

In the second half, Tyler scored within the first five minutes, putting the Fighting Owls on attack. Kristina Rivera had a few scoring chances, including one that rang off the crossbar but didn't fall in. She also had a beautiful opportunity in the final minutes that was just off the mark.

Tyler added a header in the final minutes for the final margin. Baldwin made 12 saves, giving her 23 in the two contests in Florida.

Harford opened the tourney Thursday with a 1-0 victory over Butler. The Owls defense recorded their ninth shutout of the season in the win.

Just 10 minutes into the third quarterfinal round of the day, sophomore Amanda Ballard scored the game's only goal off an assist from Rivera. The stingy defense took over from there.

Moments after the Owl goal, the Grizzlies were on a breakaway, but their first scoring chance bounced off the post. Sophomore goalkeeper Baldwin then turned away the next 11 Butler shots on goal to earn her 30th career win.

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