The most successful season in St. Catharine Women’s Soccer history was capped off with a run to the semi-final round of the Mid-South Conference Tournament Thursday.
The St. Catharine Lady Patriots (13-7, 5-4 MSC) experienced the most success in school history during the 2013 season and capped it off with a hard fought battle against the #7 Cumberland University Bulldogs (15-2, 9-0 MSC). During the regular season the Patriots fell to the Bulldogs 2-1, with the winning goal coming with just 20 seconds remaining in the contest. The tight contest produced a defensive battle in which keeper Lindsey Vinson racked up seven saves to keep the Patriots within striking distance. Thursday would prove to be much of the same for Vinson as she tallied, a season high, 12 saves, making it impossible for the Bulldogs to gain an advantage. However, the Patriots never could find an offensive answer, as they were only able to muster one shot on goal for the contest. Both Bulldog goals came off of highly contested shots, that just snuck by the Patriot defense.
With the season at its end, the Patriots have much to celebrate; the 13 wins that were compiled were the most in school history (previously 11 in 2012) and their reaching the conference semi-finals was the deepest run in school history for women’s soccer. In addition, for the first time in school history the Patriots were able to play under lights at their home Barber Soccer Complex, as well as hosting the first round of the Mid-South Conference Tournament, a game in which they won 1-0 over the Rio Grande Red Storm. On a team that had no seniors on the offensive side of the ball, the Patriots found leadership in their youth. Led by athletes such as sophomore Macy Higdon (Elizabethtown, Ky.) and her team leading 12 goals, the Patriot offense found ways to score in difficult situations. Guiding the Patriots in assists junior Chelsey Landrum (Independence, Ky.) found the feet of Patriot scorers six times on the year. However, on the defensive side of the ball it was all about the senior leadership provided by Michelle Dunaway (Louisville, Ky.), Adrienne Bishop (LaGrange, Ky.), and Lindsey Vinson (Dawsonville, Ga.). Bishop and Dunaway anchored the Patriot back line for the majority of the season, creating better situations for Vinson in the keeper’s role. Vinson totaled 95 saves on the year for the Patriots, with an average of 4.75 per contest. For Vinson, the 2013 season would generate a new career high in saves by 17, with her previous high being 78 during the 2011 campaign. In fact, the 11 wins accredited to Vinson would also set a new high and give her 18 career victories. Providing a spark from the bench, Samantha Osborne (Radcliff, Ky.) rounded out the senior line up and found her way into contests on multiple occasions, bringing her leadership to the field.
During the 2013 campaign, the reality of success came early with a key victory over Marian University 2-1 in only their third contest of the season. Following a loss to Asbury in the next contest, the Patriots rattled off four wins in a row, two of which were against conference opponents and one against a NCAA Division 2 institution. With exciting victories over Campbellsville, and for the first time, Georgetown College, the Patriots beat the odds and completed their season with a fourth place finish.
Guided by the instruction of Head Coach Paul Patton, the Patriots will begin the 2014 campaign with confidence, returning all but four players. In fact, the Patriots have already received commitments from athletes, who Patton believes will make an immediate impact. The Patriots will take a short stint to rest, but will begin their spring season upon their return from break and their preparation for another record setting season.