The thesaurus will tell you that “full circle” can be used synonymously with “orbit”, “evolution”, or “round trip”. Those words would connotate that one ends up where they started. While the Lady Patriot Soccer season ended in the samefashion it started, an overtime loss to Abilene Christian, it can hardly be said this team ended the season in the sameplace in which it began.
On Friday night, in the NCAA Division II Round of 16, the Lady Patriots were upended by Abilene Christian, 2-1, six minutes into overtime – the same score and period and opponent that opened their season. A long ball down the line led to an Ashley Holton breakaway and she netted the game winner from just inside the box. That goal ended the game and ended the Lady Patriot season.
Dallas Baptist had jumped out to a lead with just a couple minutes left to go in the first half as a Brittany Layne corner was headed in by Kourtney Edwards. Edwards had her fourth goal of the year and DBU had a 1-0 lead into the half.
They held that lead until the 56th minute when Andrea Carpenter beat everyone to a loose ball and snuck one pastKerry Edwards in the DBU goal. Edwards finished the night with 11 saves as the Lady Patriots were outshot by ACU, 17-12. The score remained tied until the 96th minute when Holton got behind the Lady Patriot defense to move the DBU record to 16-6-1 on the season.
The loss ends a historic season for Dallas Baptist Lady Patriot Soccer. First, they became the first Lady Patriot Soccer Team to win the Heartland Conference regular season championship. Then, they became the first team in program history to receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Regional Tournament. They won their first two games of the tournament, a 3-1 win over Central Missouri and a 1-0 win over Central Oklahoma, to advance to the Round of 16 before falling in heartbreaking fashion to the Wildcats.
The Lady Patriots will say goodbye to six seniors off this 2011 squad but they will welcome the challenge and competition of raised expectations. The 2011 season was historic for the Lady Patriots – but they did not finish where they started. They finished in a new place, with new hopes and a new anticipation of 2012.