Nov. 14, 2008
Cullowhee, NC - The Western Carolina women's soccer team will take to the pitch against the fourth ranked team in the country, the North Carolina Tar Heels today beginning at 5 p.m. at Fetzer Field in Chapel Hill, N.C.
The Catamounts come into the match after winning a dramatic Southern Conference Championship last Sunday against UNC Greensboro in PK's 2-0. After battling 110 minutes of score-less soccer the Catamounts showed heart and determination in the penalty shootout. Sophomore goal keeper Caitlin Williams who made four key saves in regulation, stonewalled four straight UNC Greensboro penalty kick attempts to clinch the championship for the Catamounts. Western Carolina scored twice to win the shootout 2-0 and move on to the NCAA College Cup to face top seeded UNC.
Western Carolina returns to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2005 where ironically the Catamounts faced the UNC Tar Heels and battled them to a 2-0 loss. The Catamounts have a four game unbeaten streak heading into the tournament and have played tremendous soccer the last month.
Following Western Carolina's SoCon Championship run, which included knocking off UNC Greensboro that was 10th in the regional rankings, the Catamounts have climbed into the rankings themselves. Western made its second appearance ever on the Soccer Buzz Southeast regional rankings, in at No. 15, the Catamounts lurked around the "Others Receiving Votes" category for two consecutive weeks from October 14th through October 28 in the Soccer Buzz Southeast regional rankings. Back in 2005 the Catamounts received their highest-ever position in the regional polls at No.10 following their victory over Furman in the 2005 SoCon Championships. Also Western Carolina has shown up on the NSCAA/ adidas Rankings in the "Others Receiving Votes" in the Southeast Regional Top 10 in the country, which back in 2005 the Cats were ranked ninth after their victory in the SoCon but it is a great honor to be mention with some of the top teams in the country.
The second of the two first round matches slated for Chapel Hill features Charlotte (17-3-1) and Tennessee (10-10-2), with the two squaring off against one another in the nightcap Friday scheduled for 7:30 pm.