Tanner Shoemaker, Sports Information Director
CHICKASHA – Friday evening, the No. 9 ranked University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (20-1, 8-1 SAC) was able to capture their third consecutive SAC Tournament Championship with a 7-2 victory against Wayland Baptist University (7-7-3, 3-5-1 SAC).
USAO has competed in each of the last five SAC Tournament Championship games, and they have won four out of those five championship games.
Wayland Baptist was able to score the first goal of the game in the 23rd minute, but the Drovers would quickly respond with a goal of their own from Mackenzie Holub (SO/Edmond, OK). Sara Vijfhuizen (FR/Bilthoven) gave USAO their first lead of the game in the 31st minute, as she headed in a pass from Aubrey Ruttman (SO/Mustang, OK). Mackenzie Holub scored her second goal of the game in the 43rd minute, off of a pass from Laura Barrantes(FR/Bogota Colombia ).
Following halftime, USAO extended the lead to 4-1 in the 62nd minute as Thais Duarte da Silva (JR/Sao Paulo, Brazil) put beautiful moves on the WBU defense, allowing her the time and space to find the back of the net. Laura Barrantes extended the Drovers’ lead to 5-1 less than a minute later with a LONG shot. Mackenzie Holub recorded her third goal of the game in the 63rd minute, courtesy of Emma Rice (SO/Norman, OK)’s assist. Rice then scored her 37th goal of the season in the 77th minute, off of an assist from Grace Schmidt (SO/Phoenix, AZ).
Holub concluded the championship game with her second hat-trick of the season, giving her 53 points in the 2019 campaign. Laura Barrantes also had a stellar game, collecting one incredible goal and a pair of assists, giving her 18 points this season. Sara Vijfhuizen’s goal was her fifth goal in the last four games, increasing her season total to eight.
With the victory, the Drovers have reached the 20-win mark for the first time in program history, and they are one of only two schools nationally to reach that milestone in the 2019 season.
As a team, the Drovers lead the NAIA in goals (120), goals per game (5.71), assists (111), assists per game (5.29), shots per game (32.00), and shots on goal per game (17.70). USAO ranks sixth in the NAIA in total goals allowed (9) and second in shutouts (13).
Emma Rice ranks third in the NAIA in goals (37), and fourth in points (84), points per game (4.00), and shots per game (7.05). The SAC Player of the Year also ranks fifth nationally in goals per game (1.76) and shots on goal per game (4.20).
Four Drovers rank in the Top 16 of the NAIA in assists. Aubrey Ruttman set a new program record with her team-leading 20th assist, closely followed by Mackenzie Holub’s 17 assists. Thais Duarte da Silva ranks 11thin the NAIA with 15 assists, followed by Lindsay Daugherty (JR/Arlington, TX)’s 13 helpers.