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No. 6/9 Women’s Soccer to Host NCAA III Championship Regional this Weekend

No. 6/9 Women’s Soccer to Host NCAA III Championship Regional this Weekend

SAN ANTONIO – No. 6/9 Trinity University Women's Soccer opens the 2022 NCAA III Women's Soccer Championship tournament Saturday at 5 p.m. against Pomona-Pitzer Colleges (CA) at Paul McGinlay Field as one of eight regional hosts around the country.

The Tigers (20-0-1, 14-0 SCAC) enter the NCAA III postseason competition as winners of their last 19 matches, including 16 consecutive shutouts, featuring an undefeated run through Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference regular- and postseason competition.

Trinity will welcome Pomona-Pitzer, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and Pacific Lutheran University to San Antonio for this weekend's first two rounds of the NCAA III championship bracket. The battle between the Crusaders and Lutes will directly follow the Tigers bout with the Sagehens Saturday night, scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. CT kickoff.

The Tigers posted the program's 26th SCAC title since joining the conference for the 1991 season last weekend in a 4-0 victory over Texas Lutheran University, also at Paul McGinlay Field. No. 6/9 Women's Soccer will open its 13th consecutive appearance in the NCAA III championship tournament Saturday night with Pomona-Pitzer. The second round, and regional finale, is scheduled for Sunday at 7 p.m. CT.

NCAA III Rankings – D3soccer.com Releases Last Poll Ahead of NCAA III Action

Trinity moved up another spot in this week's D3soccer.com poll to sixth in NCAA III following the conference-championship weekend. United Soccer Coaches did not release a new poll this week, leaving the Tigers as the ninth-ranked NCAA III squad by the national coaches organization.

Mary Hardin-Baylor moved into 13th in this week's D3soccer.com poll, matching its ranking from United Soccer Coaches the week before. Pacific Lutheran slipped one spot to No. 18 by D3soccer.com, while Pomona-Pitzer was listed as receiving votes toward this week's poll.

SCAC Annual Honors: Trinity Sweeps Individual Awards

During the weekend's conference tournament, seniors Molly Sheridan (St. Louis, Mo. / Kirkwood) and Bailey Meyer (Southlake, Texas / Carroll) were announced as the league's offensive and defensive Player of the Year, respectively, while first-year Hanna Khan (Southlake, Texas / Carroll) was named the SCAC Newcomer of the Year. Head Coach Dylan Harrison earned his fourth SCAC Coach of the Year honor this season in the vote of the league's coaches.

For the complete list of All-SCAC honorees, click here.

Preview: NCAA III San Antonio Regional

Trinity enters the NCAA tournament ranked atop NCAA III in a pair of major defensive categories: goals-against average (.095) and shutout percentage (.905).

The excellent defense for the 2022 season can be attributed to the efforts of Meyer as the SCAC Defensive Player of the Year and sophomore keeper Lauryn Lewis (Carrollton, Texas / Creekview) who has patrolled the goal for seven fulltime shutouts.

The Tigers also feature one of the most potent attacks in NCAA III as the nation's leader in total assists (77) along with the third-best offense by both scoring average (4.00) and total goals (84).

Sheridan and sophomore forward Michael Bosco (Weatherford, Texas / Weatherford) are tied at 15th in NCAA III with 19 goals apiece this season, a mark that puts both Trinity strikers in a tie for the ninth-best scoring season in program history. Khan has scored 15 goals this season as a reserve which is the fifth-highest mark of any first-year in NCAA III this season, 40th overall.

On the Sagehens: A rematch of last year's NCAA III regional finale in San Antonio that went to penalty kicks, the Tigers will battle Pomona-Pitzer Saturday night to open the NCAA postseason. The Sagehens enter the weekend with a 13-2-3 overall record including an 8-1-3 mark in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play.

Pomona-Pitzer led the SCIAC in every major offensive category this season with 23 assists on 36 goals. Twelve of those scores were split evenly between senior Charlotte Tapp and sophomore Amanda Khu. Senior keeper Naomi Meurice ranks top-10 in NCAA III in both goals-against average (7th; .303) and save percentage (8th; .909).

On the Crusaders: The other undefeated NCAA III program in Texas, Mary Hardin-Baylor will arrive in San Antonio at 17-0-1 in 2022, 8-0-1 in American Southwest Conference action. If both the Tigers and Crusaders were to advance from Saturday's first-round action, it would be the first meeting between the programs since the first round of the 2017 NCAA III tournament, a 2-0 Trinity victory on the campus of Hardin-Simmons University.

UMHB's highest-ranked statistical category, 11th in NCAA III, is its goals-against average of .401 on the season, powered by a .381 mark (8th in NCAA III) in the same area from sophomore keeper Reagan Williams.

On the Lutes: Winners of the Northwest Conference, Pacific Lutheran makes its way to the Alamo City with a 16-1-3 overall record, 13-1-2 in league matches. The potential matchup between the Tigers and Lutes would be the first meeting between the programs since the first round of the 2019 NCAA III tournament, a 2-1 Trinity overtime victory also at Hardin-Simmons.

Pacific Lutheran also led its conference across the board offensively, led by 15 goals from sophomore Hannah Cecil. While dominant in the Northwest on the attack, the Lutes' highest team ranking in NCAA III is their .550 goals-against average at 22nd in the nation.