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Colorado College wins C-USA Tournament

Colorado College is headed back to the NCAA Tournament.

The Tigers scored three times in the first half and cruised to a 3-0 victory over North Texas in the championship game of the Conference USA tournament.

CC earned the conference's automatic qualifier and will make back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances for the first time since 1991 when Colorado College made the last of its eight consecutive trips to the national playoffs.

The Tigers became the just the second C-USA regular-season champion to claim the tournament crown in the last 12 years and improved its all-time record at the conference playoffs to 6-5-2.

Jessie Ayers put the Tigers on the board 3:21 into the game, settling a pass from senior midfielder Madison Whitehead, playing it around the goalkeeper who had came off her line to challenge, and putting a shot from eight yards out into the net from a tough angle. It turned out to be her sixth game winner of the season.

With her 13th goal of the season and the 27th of her career, Ayers climbed into sole possession of ninth place on the program's all-time list with 24. With 54 career points, she has moved into a tie for 11 place with Olympic Gold Medalist Tara Nott (weightlifting at 2000 Sydney games).

Keeping the pressure up, Colorado College generated two more quality scoring chances in the next six minutes. Sophomore midfielder Alexis Long hit the right post in the seventh minute, and nearly three minutes later, Kaeli Vandersluis nearly found the top right corner with a bending shot from just outside the box on the right side.

Jaclyn Silsby doubled CC's lead in the 11th minute when she picked up a loose ball at the top of the 18, dribbled in and slipped a shot inside the right post from six yards.

Vandersluis increased the advantage to 3-0 when she knocked in the rebound of Whitehead's direct kick from 40 yards out on the left side. Vandersluis, who struck for a goal in each of the three tournament games, has five goals in the last six games. She became the 17th player in program history to record 50 points and is now is sole possession of 16th place with 51.

Unlike the first meeting of the season when the Mean Green answered 17 seconds after the Tigers went up 3-0, the Colorado College defense kept its opponent to the outside. CC has not allowed a goal in 244:51.

Sophomore Kate Scheele mad her best save with 17:30 remaining in the first half when she made a diving save on a crossing shot by Lynda Hercules that was headed toward the left post.

Scheele finished with five saves en route to her 11 shutout of the season. She kept the clean sheet intact when she punched Brooke Oxentine's shot over the crossbar with 21:28 to play.

Haley Riley, who was under constant duress, stopped seven shots.

The Mean Green slipped to 14-6-1.

Report an issue - Last updated: 12/16/2020