(December 6, 2022 6:44 AM) For the third time in program history, Spring Arbor University is the national champion after defeating Marian University 1-0 in the NAIA Women’s Soccer National Championship on Monday in Orange Beach, Alabama.
Freshman Madalyn Freitas scored the game’s only goal in the 10th minute while goalkeeper Blair Currie and the SAU defense recorded its 20th shutout of the season.
Senior Becca Mindling was named the NAIA Women’s Soccer Most Valuable Player of the tournament while Currie earned the NAIA Outstanding Defensive Player Award. Mindling and Currie, along with Mackenzie Selvius, were all selected to the All-Tournament Team.
- In a matchup between two Crossroads League foes, No. 4 ranked Spring Arbor and No. 2 Marian clashed in the 39th NAIA Women’s Soccer National Championship match at the Orange Beach Sportsplex in Orange Beach, Alabama.
- Spring Arbor grabbed the early lead and held on with a stout defensive effort. Madalyn Freitas recorded the games’ lone goal in the 10th minute with an assist from Ariana Stoltzfus. It was the freshman’s fifth goal of the season.
- Through the first half, Spring Arbor collected most of the set pieces with five corner kicks. After the first 45 minutes, the Cougars led in shots attempted, but Marian responded and pressured the SAU defense for the final minutes of the match. Marian attempted 14 shots on the day, while the Cougars attempted 11.
- Currie finished the match with four saves in the shutout victory.
- Spring Arbor secured its third national title in program history. The Cougars won captured their first-ever banner in 2015 and second in 2017.
- The shutout was the 20th of the season for Spring Arbor – a new program record. The mark is also tied for the second-most in NAIA history.
- Spring Arbor allowed only five goals in 23 matches this season, which is tied for the second-fewest in NAIA history. The Cougars also limited their opponents to five goals in 2021 and 2016.
- Monday’s match was the second of the season between SAU and Marian. The Cougars were able to avenge a 2-1 setback suffered at the hands of the Knights back in September.