Houston Baptist Claims First Conference Championship

first_img Chelsea Raymond 2014 Southland Soccer Tournament Post-Game QuotesMatch 1 – #1 Stephen F. Austin vs. #3 Houston Baptist D Pos. Zuri Prince MF GK 2014 All-Tournament Team Patty Walrath (MVP) D Ellee Hall Tweet #SLCSoccerESPN3 Replay | HighlightsBEAUMONT, Texas – In the championship of the 2014 Southland Conference Soccer Tournament, No. 3 seed Houston Baptist upset No. 1 seed and regular season champion No. 1 seed Stephen F. Austin at Lamar Soccer Complex on the campus of Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas.Houston Baptist freshman Ellee Hall found the back of the net on an assist from Blake Martin to give the Huskies an early lead, 1-0.Stephen F. Austin went into the half trailing for the first time since Aug. 31 when the Ladyjacks fe11 to a then No. 25 Arkansas.Hall scored again for the Huskies as she put one in with her left foot on an assist from Natalie Hager in the 52nd minute of the game. The Uintah, Utah native finished the tournament with three goals and one assist in three games.This marks the first time in Houston Baptist history that a women’s program received an automatic bid to an NCAA tournament.Houston Baptist (10-6-4) claimed its first tournament title in school history after joining the Southland Conference in 2013.Houston Baptist and Stephen F. Austin each had five players on the all-tournament team, with HBU’s goalkeeper Patty Walrath claim MVP. The senior grabbed nine saves in the championship match. Sam Houston State’s Ashley Alonzo also earn a spot on the all-tournament team.The Huskies will await their NCAA tournament fate Monday at 3:30 p.m. CT during the Women’s College Cup Selection Show on NCAA.com. The Ladyjacks end the tournament with a 16-3-1 mark and finish second in the conference tournament for the fourth time in school history. F Houston Baptist Forward Natalie HagerOn what the tournament win means for this senior class“We worked so hard for this. My sophomore year when we went to the Great West Conference and lost that game, it was just hard for us. So last year not going into the (NCAA) tournament….It was our whole goal the entire season so being able to make it. Go into two games in overtime and win those and come out strong in the championship game and pull out a win, it means a lot to us.” Houston Baptist F Houston Baptist Kristi O’Brien Christie Hinojosa F F Houston Baptist Stephen F. Austin School Head coach Wally CrittendenOn the loss in the championship game:“It’s very disappointing, and it stings. Anytime you play your last game of the season, you want to play another one. I thought we did a good job all year, and today included. We created some very dangerous chances, but I thought HBU played really well. Their goalkeeper was tremendous today. I was impressed with the character and the competitive dynamic of our team. We shifted our shape three different times to put us in a more assertive and attacking postures, but we just couldn’t finish. They scored two great goals – one off a set piece and one they ran a play. It’s tough that this is how it ends, because this team is a fantastic team, and I feel it’s a team that can match up with anyone in the country. But ultimately, it is HBU that will represent our conference. I wish them luck.”  On what the senior class has meant to this program:“This senior class is an exceptional class. They’ve definitely left a legacy of success and they’ve put us in a position to be fantastic moving forward. The impact they have left will be measured and felt and appreciated, especially as we move forward beyond this result. It was afantastic season. Obviously it didn’t end the way we wanted it to end, which was to match up against top teams in the country in the NCAAs, but nonetheless it was a very good season. It will be one they think about and recall how special it was as they move forward.” Houston Baptist Ashley Alonzo Stephen F. Austin Lindsay Matlock Stephen F. Austin Houston Baptist Goalkeeper Patty WalwrathOn unbelievable game you had, the big stops, and holding SFA to a shutout“It was really tough; we knew it was going to be anyway because they were on an unbeaten streak. We were on an unbeaten streak. So we knew we had to play really tough and it just really went our way.” Sam Houston State Megan Dunnigan Stephen F. Austin F Natalie Hager On what was the difference for you personally, did you just not want the season to end?“I guess not, I mean I just love playing so it was like alright I’m just going to make it big. I knew we were going to be on ESPN so why not let the nation watch me play.” F Houston Baptist On game itself and the early goal, building on that momentum“The early goal is huge because SFA is a scoring force and they’re very difficult to keep the ball out of the back of the net. I mean a shutout against SFA is unbelievable plus Patty (Walrath) as MVP deserved it for sure. Ellee came up huge with two goals. I mean freshman, it was fantastic. An early goal really set the tempo for the game; it really got SFA chasing the game which was a huge advantage for us.” Stephen F. Austin D Hannah Barker Player Houston Baptist Head Coach Misty JonesOn what this means for your program, making the first NCAA Championship appearance“It’s fantastic. I think it’s something you dream about when we go to the NCAA. It’s something we’ve always kind of put on the back burner. Well maybe next year, maybe next year, maybe next year. Honestly going into the season I can’t say I thought it would be this year. These girls have risen above and beyond. They’ve done everything we’ve asked them to do and I’m just proud of them.” On you personally, dictating the pace of the game the whole tournament“I wanted to do whatever I could to help create opportunities for my team. This is pretty close to my hometown so I had a lot of friends and family coming to watch. I wanted to play for my team, for the rest of the seniors and for my friends and family that came out to watch.”last_img