Athletics & Recreation / Magazine Feature

Pioneers win Sun Belt Conference title, advance to NCAA tournament

University of Denver women’s soccer earned its fourth-straight Sun Belt Conference title as the Pioneers beat the University of Arkansas-Little Rock 1-0 in the finals of the SBC tournament Nov. 7.

The win earns Denver a trip to the NCAA tournament in College Station, Texas, Dec. 4 – 6.

Junior defense Jessie Rogers of Fort Collins, Colo., scored the game-winning goal for the No. 2-seeded Pioneers (17-5-1, 10-2-0 SBC) in the 21st minute of the game with a header that finished in the box off the right corner. Senior midfielder Mariah Johnston of Littleton, Colo., received an assist on the goal.

During the first half, Little Rock’s defense held the Pioneers to only two shots on goal. DU freshman goalkeeper Lara Campbell of Anchorage, Alaska, ended the first half with four saves.

Denver’s defense excelled in the second half. The Trojans did not make any shots on goal, making Campbell’s four saves in the first half her total for the game.

Denver has won the SBC tournament crown seven times in nine years. In the NCAA tournament last year, Kansas defeated the Pioneers in the first round. The DU team looks to improve on that this time around.

The SBC All-Tournament Team includes five DU players: Rogers, Campbell, freshman forward Kaitlin Bast, sophomore midfield Bria Beardsley, senior midfield Lizzy Carlson.

Bast also was named the tournament’s most outstanding player.

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