SWOSU blanks Harding, advances to third straight championship match

SWOSU Sports
Doug Self, Sports Information Director

SHAWNEE – SWOSU Soccer was victorious over Harding in the Great American Conference Tournament semifinals, blanking the Bison 3-0. The win moves the Bulldogs into the conference’s championship match for third consecutive season.

It was SWOSU’s turn to send HU packing after the Lady Bisons had ousted the Bulldogs from the postseason in back-to-back years coming into today.

Alimata Rabo provided the game winner in the 20th minute, in what would prove to be the lone goal SWOSU would need on the afternoon. With just 17 seconds before halftime, Lauren Williams netted her second goal of the season after firing a ball that got past the Harding keeper from the top of the circle.

In the second half, Rabo added her second score of the day in the 54th minute to tack on another insurance goal and extinguish any hope for a Harding comeback. The Dawg attack outshot the Lady Bisons 19-16 on the afternoon, and forced Harding to make four saves of their own during the match.

To preserve the shutout, SWOSU goalie Lexie Bates collected four saves on the afternoon – two in each half. Bates has now posted five solo clean sheets on the season and picks up her first career shutout as a Bulldogs in the postseason.

The Bulldogs will now await the result of the other semifinal matchup and take on either No. 1-seed Oklahoma Baptist or No. 4-seed East Central on Saturday at 1 pm for the championship. The winner of Saturday’s contest will receive an automatic invitation to the NCAA Central Region Tournament, set to begin Friday, November 10 at the highest seed in the region’s home site.