MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Timely offense and a shutout performance by the defense have moved the Lee women’s soccer team back into the final round of the Southern States Athletic Conference tournament final again.
The Lady Flames scored on a penalty kick by senior Amy Cochran in the first half and went into the break with a 1-0 advantage.
“We played as well in the first half as we have all season,” said coach Matt Yelton. “We were not quite as sharp in the second half.” Lee knocked in a pair of goals in the final 45 minutes and advanced with the impressive 3-0 decision.
Leah Fortune drove into the box and was fouled to set up the first-half PK by Cochran. “We had some quality opportunities to score several more times in the first half, but just didn’t finish,” allowed the SSAC Coach of the Year.
The Lady Flames claimed a 2-0 advantage early in the second 45 minutes when Ode Fulutudilu produced another one of her many great runs this season to score. After missing another penalty kick, Charlotte Canlett produced what Yelton described as the “goal of the year” by one of his players. “It came from about 20 yards outs and was a thing of beauty.”
The Lady Flames turned in another solid defensive effort. “Kim (Conrad) did an excellent job on the SSAC Offensive Player of the Year (Esther Anyanwu),” said Yelton. “She got plenty of help from her senior teammates (Clair Lanter and Caroline Scales), plus Leah Wilson had some good saves in goal. This is one time I can say that not a single player had a bad day.”
Lee will face Faulkner University in the final on Saturday at 2 p.m. The Eagles earned a spot in the national tournament by defeating Mobile in a shootout. After regular play and overtimes ended at 0-0, Faulkner outscored the Rams 3-0 in the shootout.