Alabama State wins first ever SWAC Soccer Championship
Alabama State 2, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 1
PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas – For the third time on four seasons, No. 3 Alabama State made an appearance in the Southwestern Athletic Conference Soccer Championship game. The third time was a charm for the Hornets as they defeated No. 4 Arkansas-Pine Bluff for the school’s first ever tournament crown.
Ariela Lewis scored both goals for ASU with one assisted by her twin sister Aaliyah.
Sunday afternoon marked the first championship for ASU head coach Jodie Smith who just completed his 10th season.
Ariela put the Hornets in the scoring column first at the 24 minute giving her team a 1-0 lead. Mercedes Padilla assisted on the game’s first score. Ariela would again strike for ASU at the 65 minute mark expanding the lead 2-nill.
Gianna Guyot led ASU (11-9-1) with six saves while UAPB (8-8-2) was led by Makayla Cowles and her four saves.
UAPB outshot the Hornets 12-10 with Karissa Fenwick and Allison Herrin both finishing with three attempts each.
The Golden Lions would not go away quietly. The same team that eliminated top-seeded Howard Friday scored on a penalty kick at the 73 minute mark from Maria Jean.
Alabama State will now await its fate for the NCAA Soccer Tournament.
2016 SWAC Soccer All-Tournament Team
GK - Makayla Cowles - Arkansas-Pine Bluff
M - Cierra Fenwick - Arkansas-Pine Bluff
M - Maria Del Carmen Rios Jean - Arkansas-Pine Bluff
M - Laadi Issaka - Mississippi Valley State
D - Makayla Johnson - Texas Southern
D - Kendall Hamilton - Texas Southern
D - Mariah Johnson - Arkansas-Pine Bluff
F - Paige Hayward - Texas Southern
F - Aaliyah Lewis - Alabama State
F - Ariela Lewis - Alabama State
F - Kela Gray - Howard
Tournament Most Valuable Player
Ariela Lewis - Alabama State