Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Lady Lions Turn the Tables, Win 1-0 Victory at Park Sends Lindenwood to Naia Nationals Next Week in Georgia

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Lady Lions Turn the Tables, Win 1-0 Victory at Park Sends Lindenwood to Naia Nationals Next Week in Georgia

Article excerpt

The Lindenwood College women's soccer team was due.

After falling to Park (Mo.) College 3-0 in American Midwest Conference play and 2-0 in the AMC Tournament title game, the Lady Lions turned the tables in the all-important Midwest Regional final, winning 1-0 at Park Saturday.

The victory sends Lindenwood (19-2-1) to the NAIA nationals next week in Berry, Ga. It's the Lady Lions' fifth national appearance since 1986 and their third in succession.

"It's exciting and I'm really proud of our team," first-year Lindenwood coach Tim Champion said. "But I'm a little upset at the pairings."

Lindenwood, which has been seeded fourth in the nine-team field, has been placed in a pool with sixth-seeded Berry, the host school and defending NAIA champion, and with the No. 3 seed Park, which received an at-large bid.

"Part of the fun of playing in a tournament like this is to see how you stack up against teams from other parts of the country; heck, we could drive to Kansas City to play Park again," Champion said. "I understand we were seeded fifth originally, but the coaches committee moved us up because of our success late in the season against Division II and Division I teams. Honestly, I'd rather play (top-seeded) Lynn than to have to go against Park again. And I'm sure Park feels the same way. It just doesn't make any sense."

The nine-team tournament is divided into three three-team pools. The three champions and a wild-card team advance to the semifinals. The complete tournament schedule will be announced early this week.

"We feel we have one of the top three teams in the nation," said Champion, whose team was No. 7 in the final NAIA ranking of the season. "Unfortunately, Park is one of the other top teams, along with Lynn. Playing Park a fourth time will be tough and it's possible that we could play a fifth time if one of us advances and the other gets the wild-card spot.

"The whole thing just doesn't make sense."

Teams qualifying for the field at nationals, in order of seeding, include Lynn (Fla.), Georgian Court (N.J.), Park (Mo.), Lindenwood (Mo.), Findlay (Ohio), Berry (Ga.), Midway (Ky.), Westmont (Calif.) and Incarnate Word (Texas). …

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