Dasia Shepherd‘s header in Minute 64 landed in the net and gave the Eagles the lead, but Bob Jones University came back to tie it and eventually win 2-1 as the two top-ranked teams in the country battled for the South Region title Saturday afternoon in Jacksonville.

Shepherd headed the corner kick from Arianna Elliot into the goal to put the Eagles ahead 1-0 after the two teams played to a scoreless tie at the half. Bob Jones scrambled to get inside, but the Eagles’ tight backfield of Alexa Goodwin, Hailey Ridenour, and Kristin Pabon would not allow the Bruins to get open and set up for a shot inside the scoring area. Trinity attackers also came back to aid the defensive effort.

Trinity’s defense held off several Bob Jones attacks from that point on, forcing the Bruins to retreat without penetrating the box. However, BJU’s Marissa Allebach fired a high and hard line drive from approximately 40 yards out that got over the defense and landed in the very top corner of the goal to tie the game at 1-1 in Minute 72.

The defensive battle continued until Minute 86 when Sarah Herr replicated Allebach’s slap shot, this time from just just a few yards outside the box. It also hit the top left corner and became the game winner.

Trinity goalkeeper Courtney Blanset saved eight shots on goal, and Bob Jones keeper Jessica Baun saved one. The Bruins’ defense played exceptionally well as Jennifer Townsend and Allyson Jenkins helped the Bruins hold Trinity to four total shots, two of them on goal.

The Eagles congratulate the Lady Bruins as they advance to the national tournament, which Bob Jones will host from November 17-18 in Greenville, South Carolina.

The Eagles finish the season with a record of 8-5-1 after ending the regular season as the #1 team in the NCCAA’s Division 2. Bob Jones was #2. In addition, four Eagles — Kristin Pabon, Arianna Elliot, Kareema Mitchell, and Arisa Robles — made the All-South Region First Team while Alexa Goodwin, Dasia Shepherd, and Domanique Baldwin made the All-South Region Second team.

Finally, Eagles head coach Prince Borde won the honor of the South Region’s Women’s Soccer Coach of the Year.

Congratulations go to the Trinity Baptist College Eagles women’s soccer team and coaching staff on another fantastic and very successful 2017 season.

–Raymond Bureau, TBC