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NCAA Southeast Regional Championship Preview: Flagler vs. Columbus State

ST. AUGUSTINE – The third-ranked Flagler College women’s soccer team travels to Columbus, Georgia for the third time this season to play first-ranked Columbus State University in the NCAA Southeast Regional Championship on Friday, November 18 at 3:00 p.m

The Saints (14-3-3) are up after a 1-1 draw with second-seeded Catawba College, where Flagler advanced in a penalty shoot-out after beating Catawba 5-4. Andrea Fernandez scored the Saints’ only goal from the penalty spot in the first half. Flagler downplayed the woman in the final 46 minutes of the game, including 20 minutes of overtime. Keeper Madison North had four saves and made two stops during the PK shootout.

Fernandez leads the nation with an average of 2.67 points per game and is third in the NCAA Division II with an average of 1.11 goals per game. The second forward has scored 20 goals and provided eight assists for a total of 48 points. Josefine Nilsen is second in the squad with 14 points, five goals and four assists. North has .93 goals against average and .804 save percentage with seven shutouts this season.

The nationally ranked 3rd seeded Cougars (18-2-1) record a 1-0 win over fifth seeded Lenoir-Rhyne University. Lauren Barnes scored the deciding goal for Columbus State in the 80th minute. Goaltender Lizzie Hedrick started for the Cougars and made four stops in the first 55 minutes, while Sara Halilhodzic made four saves at the net in the final 35 minutes.

Emma Beddow is eighth in the NCAA Division II with an average of .90 goals per game and ninth in the country with an average of 2.14 points per game. Beddow leads the Cougars with 45 points, 19 goals and seven assists. Rachel Sweigard is behind Beddow on 40 points with 17 goals and six assists. Hedrick has started in all 21 games and is holding 0.53 goals against average while posting a 0.880 percent save in 1018 minutes played.

The last time the teams met, the Saints defeated the Cougars 1-0 to secure their fourth straight Peach Belt Conference Championship. Fernandez scored the winning goal from the penalty spot in the 81st minute. North made eight saves in the win to earn her sixth shutout of the season. Columbus State holds an all-time record of 14-5-3 against Flagler, but the Saints are 5-2-3 against the Cougars in their last 10 games.

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