UPLAND, Ind. – The 17th-ranked and second-seeded TU women's soccer team will host the seventh-seeded Cougars of Saint Francis in the first matchup of the Crossroads League Tournament on Saturday.
The Trojans have rewritten the record books in 2016, setting program marks for most wins to begin a season (9), longest win streak (9), most wins in a single season (14) and most shutouts in a single season (11). TU finished league play with a 7-1-1 record to earn the No. 2 seed. Saint Francis wrapped up its CL slate with a 3-5-1 mark, ending with a 2-0 win over Indiana Wesleyan in their final league match.
The two teams met in Crossroads League play on October 19 inside Turner Stadium, with the Trojans prevailing behind Bailey Zehr's goal 14 seconds into overtime for the 1-0 win.
Saint Francis began its league schedule 1-1-1, but could only muster two wins in its final six games.
Mackenzie Starcevich is the primary weapon on offense for the Cougars, as both her 14 goals and 30 points rank second in the Crossroads League. The senior has also recorded six game-winning goals, which rank second in the NAIA. Hannah Elzinga is second on the team in goals (7) and points (17), while Katie Barker's seven assists are tied for fourth in the league.
In the goal for USF, Morgan Hammon leads the CL with 100 saves on the year.
Taylor has been consistent this season, with the only blemish on its record coming at the hands of defending NAIA National-Champion and top-ranked Spring Arbor. The Trojans finished league play with a scoreless draw at Huntington.
Taylor is led offensively by the quartet of Bailey Zehr, Shelbi Lowe, Megan Kammer and Nikki Zaino, with each recording at least 12 points so far this season. Zaino leads the team with 18 points and shares the team-lead in goals (7) with Zehr. Lowe's seven dish-outs are second-most in the Crossroads League. Kammer has notched five goals, including the game-winner against then-No. 14 Campbellsville for the team's first win over a top-15 team in head coach Scott Stan's nine-year tenure at Taylor.
TU's calling card all season has been its defense, having shut out 11 of its 16 opponents. Fayth Glock, Brienna Kruit, Savannah Porter and Katie Wierenga patrol the back line in front of keeper Lauren Engelkes, who has notched seven complete-game shutouts and a goals-against-average of 0.62, which ranks 19th in the NAIA and second in the Crossroads League.
The quarterfinal match will start at 5:00 pm on Saturday inside Turner Stadium. The winner will advance to take on the winner of the Marian-Mount Vernon match in the semifinals. The Trojans shut out both Marian and Mount Vernon in the regular season.
The link to live video for the game is provided above. Please visit the Crossroads League Tournament Central page for the full tournament bracket, schedule of play and updated results.