MIAMI--The Lady Lions' soccer team lost an epic battle with Simon Fraser University (B.C.) Tuesday for the NAIA national championship, 1-0. SFU scored in the fifth overtime.
It was the first defeat all season for the Lady Lions, who finish 23-1.
To get to the title game, Lindenwood earned a 1-0 semifinal victory over No. 4-seed Azusa Pacific University.
The win was especially sweet for top-seeded Lindenwood, now 23-0. Not only did it send the Lady Lions to the national title game for the second time in Lindenwood history, but it gave Lindenwood a certain level of satisfaction defeating the same team that ousted them in last year's semifinals.
"We are thrilled to be in the championship game, but we are very focused on what we have to accomplish tomorrow," said Lindenwood Coach Kevin Kilcullin before the game. "There's no time to celebrate."
The semifinal game's only goal came at 38:19 when the national tournament's leading scorer and likely MVP Inge Heiremans scored on an assist from Becky Brown. Heiremans now has three goals and four assists in the national tournament.
While Lindenwood outshot Azusa 12-6 in the first 45 minutes, the Cougars turned up the intensity in the second half and outshot the Lady Lions 10-6. But Lindenwood goalkeeper Tish Martin was splendid in that span to preserve her team's 17th shutout of the season.