For the third straight season, the Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Soccer Team has earned a bid to the NCAA Division II National Tournament. L-R (16-1-2), the
third seed in the Southeast Regional Tournament, will face sixth-seeded Belmont Abbey (11-9-1) on Friday in Columbus, Ga., at 5:00 p.m.
The winner of the match between the Crusaders and the Bears will then play second-seeded Columbus State (17-3-1), the host school, on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
The Bears will be making their third consecutive trip to the NCAA Division II Playoffs. Last year, L-R advanced to the finals of the Southeast Regional Tournament before falling to Armstrong Atlantic State by a 1-0 score in Savannah, Ga.
L-R is ranked No. 11 in NCAA Division II and just won both the 2012 South Atlantic Conference Regular Season and Tournament Championships.
Lenoir-Rhyne, under first-year Head Coach Cally Morrill, is also unbeaten in its last 15 contests (13-0-2).
Belmont Abbey earned an automatic qualifying berth to the playoffs after winning the Conference Carolinas Tournament Championship on Sunday, 1-0 over Pfeiffer in Belmont, N.C.
Columbus State, the only team to beat Lenoir-Rhyne this year, is coming off a 2-0 loss to Armstrong Atlantic State in the Peach Belt Conference Tournament Championship Sunday in Evans, Ga.
The Cougars and the Bears played in the playoffs for the past two seasons. Columbus State is ranked No. 20 in the nation.
The other half of the Southeast Regional Tournament will take place in Savannah, Ga., and will include fifth-seeded North Georgia (14-4-2), fourth-seeded Wingate (14-2-2) and top-seed Armstrong Atlantic State (18-1-1).
The two winners of each region will advance to the third round to be played on Friday, November 16. The national quarterfinal match-up will be on Sunday, November 18, against the champion from the South Regional.
Both the third and quarterfinal rounds will hosted by the highest remaining seed from the South Region. The national semifinals and championships will be played on November 29 and December 1, respectively, at Blanchard Woods Park in Evans, Ga.
2012 NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Tournament
November 9-11, 2012 - Columbus, Ga.
Columbus State, host
Friday, November 9
No. 3 Lenoir-Rhyne (16-1-2) vs. No. 6 Belmont Abbey (11-9-1), 5 p.m.
Sunday, November 11
Lenoir-Rhyne/Belmont Abbey winner at No. 2 Columbus State (17-3-1), 1 p.m.
Photo Courtesy: Bears Celebrate SAC Championship, L-R Athletics