The Dallas Baptist Lady Patriots sure did not act like a team playing in their first NCAA Tournament as a six-seed in a six team Regional. They scored early, they kept up the pressure, and they got great defense and goaltending for a dominating 3-1 win over #2 seed Central Missouri on Friday afternoon in Edmond, Oklahoma.
Central Missouri came in to the opening round of the NCAA Tournament with only one loss on the year. That loss came at the hands of the Lady Patriots and DBU knew that to repeat the feat, they would need to command the pace of the game and control the ball at both ends of the field. While DBU did not get many shots on goal during the match – UCM outshot the Lady Patriots 16 to 7 – they made the most of their chances and won almost every battle on the offensive end. “While we got outshot,” said Head Coach Michelle Lenard, “I thought we matched them in scoring chances. A lot of their shots were from distance and some were harmless floaters that Kerry Edwards got a good look at.”
Brittany Layne opened the scoring for the Lady Patriots in the 12th minute on a loose ball from 20 yards out. Her drive beat the diving Brooke Cooley in the UCM goal and Dallas Baptist had an early, and commanding, 1-0 lead.
Danielle Presley increased that lead to 2-0 with the help of Layne in the 30th minute. Layne sent a cross in from the right side to the front of the goal mouth and Presley was able to win the position battle and just got enough of a header to flick the ball over Cooley and watch it roll over the goal line.
Central Missouri had a few chances in the first half but the Lady Patriot midfield was able to control most of the loose balls and adjusted to the different looks from the Jennies. Lenard was pleased with her midfield play, saying, “Edwards, Kelsey Hall, and Lea Sedwick were great today as our center mids. UCM threw some different looks at us throughout the game but they adjusted. It was a team effort but our ability to control the middle of the field was huge.”
The Lady Patriots opened the second half with another early score and this one gave them an insurmountable lead. Eight minutes into the half, Sedwick was in position to handle a misplay by the Jennie defense and, with time, placed a great shot from fifteen yards out.
Most of the action in the second half was on the Jennies side of the field, however, as they mounted several attacks to get the game close. Casey Shouse was able to sneak one by Edwards in the 74th minute but that was the only goal of the day for Central Missouri. DBU was able to do enough on the defensive side to keep the Jennies at bay and won their first ever NCAA Regional game, 3-1.
They now advance to the second round of the regional tournament to face #1 seeded Central Oklahoma on Sunday at 2:00 pm in Edmond.