Five Goals, Five Straight Sun Belt Championships
Posted on November 6, 2017
Senior Rio Hardy scored twice and sophomore Kory Dixon had a goal and two assists Sunday as the University of South Alabama soccer team claimed its record fifth consecutive Sun Belt Conference Tournament championship with a 5-0 victory over Coastal Carolina.
The game, played at the Foley Sports Tourism Complex, marked the largest winning margin in Sun Belt Conference final history and the first time a Sun Belt school has won five straight tournament championships. It was also the largest win of the season for the Jags.
"It is a fantastic achievement for these girls, and tactically, a really disciplined performance from our team today,” said Coach Richard Moodie. “Five goals in a tournament final is fantastic. It's just part of the journey. This wasn't the goal for the season. Making a national tournament is part three and now we get to train” another week.
The Jaguars will enter the NCAA Tournament with a 14-5-1 record, and will face the Florida Gators as its first-round opponent Monday.
South Alabama has not allowed a goal in its last seven Sun Belt tournament games, outscoring the opposition 24-0. In Sunday’s win, goalie Justice Stanford made four saves in recording her eighth shutout of the season.
The Jags’ performance against Coastal Carolina was convincing, with USA outshooting its opponent 19-9 while holding a 10-4 edge in shots on the goal.
“Three goals in the first 20 minutes took the wind out of their sails,” Moodie said. “That's the most relaxed I've ever been in the last 20 minutes of a final. The girls did really well, and it wasn't easy game – it took a lot of work from us. They were willing to put in the work and effort."
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