Eastern Florida Women Win 4-1 To Advance To NJCAA Soccer Championship Semifinal
By Mark DeCotis, Eastern Florida State College // November 19, 2015
next matchup set for friday at 5 p.m.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA — Her smile as wide and her eyes as bright as those of a winner would expected to be Eastern Florida women’s soccer player Khadija Shaw put it best.
“New year, new team, same dream,” she said.
Shaw scored twice as Eastern Florida beat Pima Community College 4-1 on Wednesday to advance to the semifinals of the NJCAA Women’s Division I Soccer Championship where it will get a re-match with defending national champion Monroe College.
Monroe ousted Eastern Florida on penalty kicks in last season’s semifinal. And while Titan head coach Jeff Carr has strived to keep his team focused on this season and the goal of winning the national championship his sophomores remember last season and the freshmen, including Shaw, have been schooled.
Nationally No. 1-ranked and tournament top seed Eastern Florida (16-0) plays seventh seed Monroe (15-2) in Friday’s first semifinal at 5 p.m. at the Titan Soccer Complex on the Melbourne Campus.
No. 4 seed Butler Community College (21-2) and No. 3 seed Iowa Central (17-1) play at 8 p.m. Friday. Saturday’s championship game is at 7 p.m.
Friday’s first semifinal and Saturday’s title game will be televised live on WEFS-TV. The three remaining games also will be streamed live at www.njcaatv.com
Eastern Florida was shaky early on Wednesday, escaping several potential Pima charges and chances and went ahead 1-0 when Julia Hernandez beat Pima goalkeeper Danie Sanchez with 32 minutes and 32 seconds to play in the first half.
The goal was number 25 this season for Hernandez.
Shaw hit the crossbar for the Titans with just under 16 minutes to play in the half and Sanchez smothered Paula Astiazaran’s shot off the ensuing rebound.
Pima hit the post with 13:31 to go on a free kick and Eastern Florida goalkeeper Steff Barreras was forced to dive on the rebound.
Two minutes Shaw beat Sanchez to the right side for a 2-0 Titan lead. The goal was Shaw’s 10th.
Barreras was forced to make a point-blank save in the field of play in the final seconds to preserve a 2-0 halftime lead.
Less than seven minutes into the second half, with heavy rain blowing across the field, leading scorer Astiazaran netted her 29th goal making it 3-0.
The assist went to Hernandez.
Shaw netted her second goal, walking in a feed from Astiazaran with 27:29 to play, making it 4-0.
Eastern Florida dodged another threat when a Pima shot hit the left post after a giveaway with 13:33 to play.
Pima finally broke through when Daniela Garcia converted a deflection to beat goalkeeper Asmara Holmes with 10:32 to go to make it 4-1.
Holmes earlier replaced Barreras.
“We got the job done tonight, it wasn’t the greatest effort,” Carr said.
“A couple of people I thought played unbelievable. I think (defender) Serena Delgado tonight was the star of the game the way she played. That’s the best I’ve seen her play in two years, kudos to her.
“We started giving some people a rest toward the end and it didn’t look so pretty. But survive and advance. That’s exciting and we get an opportunity to play Monroe on Friday at home.
“We all remember last year.”
As for Shaw: “She came to play tonight,” Carr said. “She’s a special young lady. She’s pretty focused.
“Julia had one and Paula.”
Pima head coach Kendra Veliz was emotional.
“I told them I was proud of them, I was proud of them for not giving up,” she said, her hoarse voice breaking.
“We’ve had a great season. And they’re going to remember this. They’re going to remember the good things and the championships we did win.
“I’m very proud of our sophomore class.”
Pima finished the tournament and the season with a 20-2-2 record.
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