Second Half Surge Leads UWF to 2-1 Victory and
NCAA Final Four Bid
CITY, Tenn. – The No. 1 ranked West Florida women’s soccer team
faced a halftime deficit for the first time all season, but two second half
goals led the Argonauts to a 2-1 victory at No. 7 Carson-Newman on Sunday,
earning UWF its second straight appearance in the NCAA Final Four. A
tactical change by Head Coach
directly led to victory, as senior defender
(Old Harbour, Jamaica/Community College of Baltimore) moved to striker in
the second half, eventually scoring the equalizer and assisting on the
Carson-Newman came out strong in the first half and claimed a 1-0 lead in
the 11th minute on a goal by Nikki Brannen. Brannen received a pass from
Trenna Howell and hit the one-touch shot inside the right post and past UWF
Jones (Panama City, Fla./Bay HS).
“We've never had to come from behind like that,” explained Bartlinski.
“At halftime we made some adjustments tactically and mentally. The
character of this team is incredible, being able to battle back into this
game on the road.”
"We had to make a little change,” he continued, “moving Shameka (Gordon)
up top and sending Dernelle (Mascall) to the back. Dernelle has had to play
in the back earlier this season when Shameka was hurt, and Shameka has
experience up top from her summer team. Shameka helped our communication up
top, and Dernelle was so composed on defense and was able to clean
everything up back there."
The equalizer came at the 68:29 mark, and it started with a run by senior
Duncan (Kingston, Jamaica/Darton College) up the left sideline. After
having just come off the field with a hurt ankle, Duncan recovered and made
a run into space. She turned to her right and put the ball into the box,
and the ball bounced to Gordon who put it away for the first UWF goal.
"It felt like slow motion,” said Duncan. “I sprinted as fast as I could,
but it felt like slow motion because of my ankle. I saw Shameka on the
right side, and it was incredible how relaxed I felt. I knew she would make
The score remained tied for the next 20 minutes, but UWF kept the
pressure on the Carson-Newman defense. The Argonauts finished the game with
a 19-2 shot advantage, and they outshot the Eagles 11-0 in the second half.
The game-winner came in the 88th minute, as
Shameka Gordon and
once again connected for the Argos. This time it was Gordon initiating the
play, as she found Duncan open for a shot inside the right post from six
With the win the Argonauts will advance to the NCAA Final Four hosted by
the University of Tampa on December 3-5. The Argonauts will face the winner
of the West Texas A&M - Cal State Dominguez Hills quarterfinal match in the
semifinals on Thursday, December 3 at a time to be determined.
"It's a credit to the caliber of players and the talent that we have
here,” said Bartlinski. “The run we've had has been incredible, facing very
tough teams in North Alabama and Rollins and now coming back to beat
Carson-Newman on their home field. There are no easy games at this stage."
UWF returns to Tampa for the Final Four for the second straight year, as
last year’s team advanced to the NCAA championship game and lost to Seattle
Pacific 1-0 in double overtime.
For information on the NCAA Tournament, including times and pairings as
they become available, visit www.NCAA.com.
For information on all UWF Athletics, visit www.GoArgos.com.