2023 Postseason Week 3 Wrap

We may be down to just one team featuring Aussies remaining in the postseason, but that doesn’t mean everyone else has been eliminated, because we have an Australian NAIA National Champion! Georgia Martell was absolutely crucial as Cumberlands rolled all the way to the championship game before defying a shot count of THIRTY-SEVEN TO SIX against them to defeat William Carey in a shootout. Of course, Martell was vital as she repelled 18 of William Carey’s 19 shots on target, with the Crusaders only scoring in the 87th minute to tie the game. In total, Martell played 380 minutes and made 27 saves whilst conceding just one goal in Cumberlands’ four games at the NAIA final site in what can only be described as an otherworldly effort.

Meanwhile, Ayana Aoyagi continues to be equally as crucial between the sticks as Florida Tech advanced to the NCAA Division II Final Four. The Florida Tech goalkeeper made eight saves in both the Round of 16 victory over Nova Southeastern and Quarter-Final win over Lenoir-Rhyne as her team advanced to play Point Loma in the upcoming national semi-finals. Eve Tiktikakis also featured in both games, coming off the bench to play 27 minutes on each occasion. From an Australian point of view, the win over Lenoir-Rhyne was a nice bit of revenge after they had knocked a valiant Ashley Hughes and Catawba out of the tournament in the previous round. The win didn’t come easy for Florida Tech though. After going 4-0 up inside half an hour, Lenoir-Rhyne returned serve with four goals of their own in the next 30 minutes of action before Florida Tech managed to find a winner with just three minutes to play in normal time.

The NCAA Division II Tournament wraps up this weekend, with Florida Tech’s semi-final taking place at 11am on Friday (Sydney time), and the final scheduled for midday Sunday.

Complete Results

NCAA Division II Tournament

Catawba (Ashley Hughes)

Round of 16: lost 4-2 to Lenoir-Rhyne

Ashley Hughes started for Catawba in their loss to Lenoir-Rhyne, making a single save in 55 minutes of action.

Florida Tech (Ayana Aoyagi, Eve Tiktikakis)

Round of 16: defeated Nova Southeastern 3-1

Quarter-Final: defeated Lenoir-Rhyne 5-4

Ayana Aoyagi played the full 90 minutes in both games this week as Florida Tech advanced to the NCAA Division II Tournament semi-finals, making eight saves in both games. Eve Tiktikakis also produced identical stat lines in both games, coming off the bench to play 27 minutes in each game.

Gannon (Holly Gray, Paige Taylor)

Round of 16: defeated West Chester 5-4 on penalties (1-1 AET)

Quarter-Final: lost 1-0 to Adelphi

Paige Taylor started both games for Gannon this week, tallying two shots with one on target and playing the full 110 minutes against West Chester, and notching another shot in 72 minutes in the loss to Adelphi. Holly Gray converted her penalty after subbing in for the shootout against West Chester, before coming off the bench to play 10 minutes in the loss to Adelphi.

NAIA Tournament

Cumberlands (KY) (Georgia Martell)

Round of 16: defeated Ottawa (AZ) 2-0

Quarter-Final: defeated Hope International 2-0

Semi-Final: defeated Spring Arbor 2-0

Championship: defeated William Carey 3-2 on penalties (1-1 AET)

Georgia Martell was almost unbeatable as Cumberlands won the program’s first national championship. The goalkeeper played every minute, making four saves against Ottawa, three more in the win over Hope International, another two against Spring Arbor, and a mind-boggling EIGHTEEN saves to help force the final to penalties before making way for the shootout as the Patriots secured the title.

Keiser (FL) (Zara Board, Georgia Little)

Round of 16: lost 1-0 to William Carey

Zara Board made eight saves in a complete-game performance against William Carey, whilst Georgia Little played 84 minutes as Keiser’s season came to an end in the round of 16.

About Lachy 383 Articles
Founder of College Matildas. An Australian women's football fan who also happens to be a college sports fan. Often found at A-League Women or NPLW games.

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