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Argos win first national championship in program history, 1-0

Five Argos named to NCAA All-Tournament Team; Palmer named offensive MVP, Story named defensive MVP

Related Item: Box Score

EVANS, Ga. – For the first time in program history, the West Florida women’s soccer team won the NCAA Division II Championships Final with a 1-0, shutout victory over UC San Diego. The Argonauts finish the season with a dominating 24-1-0 record.

The national championship is the seventh in all sports at UWF.

With less than 13 minutes left in the game, and both teams locked in a defensive battle, Sashana Campbell (Manchester, Jamaica/Darton) found Chelsea Palmer (Plano, Texas/Darton) on a cross and Palmer poked her foot out just far enough to shoot the ball into the net to score the game-winning goal with 76:31 on the clock.

Palmer, who scored the game-winner in the NCAA semifinal against Saint Rose, was named the tournament’s Offensive MVP after recording 12 points in five NCAA Tournament matches. She recorded six assists and three goals and played a role in all but one goal that the Argos scored in the NCAA postseason. She played a role in every goal in the last four matches.

Sarah Story (Hoover, Ala./Darton) recorded five saves in the shutout. The keeper recorded three shutouts in the five games during the NCAA Tournament as the Argos outscored their opponents 10-3 during the tournament. Story was named the tournament Defensive MVP.

Senior co-captains Tori Fish (Bellaire, Texas/Bellaire HS) and Rachel Cutts (Pace, Fla./Ole Miss) were named to the All-Tournament Team as well as junior Sashana Campbell (Manchester, Jamaica/Darton).

Campbell had two goals and an assist in the five NCAA Tournament games.

UWF won 24 games for the second-time in school history, with the last time occurring in 2008. The Argos finish the season on a 13-game winning streak and with the second-best winning percentage in program history at .960. The Argos went undefeated, finishing 22-0-1 with a .978 win percentage in 2009.

After going into double overtime Thursday while using only one substitution in the semifinal game, the Argo starters were a sluggish in the first half. The Tritons outshot UWF 11-4 and attempted more corners than UWF 3-1.

Story made a handful of spectacular saves in the first half. At the 32:18 mark, the Tritons’ Hayley Johnson sent a powerful shot toward the bottom of the cross bar, but Story punched it out of bounds to secure the lead.

UWF coach Joe Bartlinski went to his bench in the first half, using five subs.

The starters came back in the second half and outshot UCSD 15-4 the rest of the way while attempting four corners to the Tritons’ two.

Defenders Taylor Harbison (Neptune Beach, Fla./Fletcher HS), Kelly Andres (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenny HS) and Cutts played all 90 minutes as the defense finished the season allowing 0.62 goals per game. In addition, Daniela Cruz (San Jose, Costa Rica/University of Costa Rica) played every minute of the game.

UWF outscored opponents 77-15 on the season while shutting out more than half of its opponents with 14 shutouts on the season.

Palmer finished the season with the most assists in D-II with 19, good for second-most all-time in a single-season for a UWF player. Her 51 points is seventh-most all-time.

Story finished the season with a 0.57 goals against average, the seventh-best all-time by an Argo keeper. Her 13.1 shutouts is the third-most all-time at UWF. Her 93 saves are fifth-most and her 24 wins are tied for the most.

Fish, a fifth-year senior who redshirted in 2009, finished her career 99-7-7 at UWF. Seniors Monica Malavassi (San Jose, Costa Rice/University of Costa Rica) and Cutts went 75-6-6 in four seasons at UWF and senior Jessica Ebanks (Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands/University College) went 53-6-5 in three seasons at UWF.

Bartlinski, a two-time NJCAA national champion at Brevard College, improved to 203-27-14 (.861) at UWF. He and the Argos are 14-8-3 all-time in NCAA Tournament matches.

The third-best scoring offense in D-II, the Argos averaged 3.12 goals per game and tied Grand Valley State for the most goals as a team with 78. The 14 shutouts is tied for fourth-most this season in D-II.

For information on all UWF athletics, visit www.GoArgos.com.

Quotes:

Coach Joe Bartlinski:
“San Diego was so fierce in that first half. We were just holding on because of how tired we were from the Saint
Rose game. We had to expend so much energy against Saint Rose. All we did yesterday and today was try to
recover physically. We had some chances, but they were definitely smothering us. But we came together at
halftime with our leadership. We said in the second half, let’s play our way. We were going wave after wave
after them. At the end of the day, they had a bunch of shots that second half. They were resilient, but nobody
was going to stop (Chelsea Palmer). I’m so pleased for our seniors and for our kids that came from junior
colleges.”

Chelsea Palmer:
 “In soccer, sometimes you only have one opportunity. National championships aren’t won 2-0, 3-0, 4-0. Games
are won 1-0. It’s the toe poke. It’s the diving header. It’s unthinkable. You never think you’ll get that chance
right in front of the goal. To have that opportunity, you have to finish. I had to compose myself, just as I did on
the PKs (Thursday). You have to compose yourself and knock it in.”

Sarah Story:
“We panicked a little bit in the Saint Rose game. Coach was telling us to calm down. Everyone turned to me,
and I just had to say calm down, play our game. We had to make sure we kept everyone’s heads.”

#ARGOS#

                          Soccer Game Summary (Final)
                          West Florida Women's Soccer
           #5 UC San Diego vs #2 West Florida (12/01/12 at Evans, GA)

 UC San Diego (17-3-4) vs. West Florida (24-1-0)
 Date: 12/01/12      Attendance: 357
 Weather: Mostly cloudy, 68F (68F), NE 2

 Goals by period       1  2  Tot
 -------------------------------
 UC San Diego........  0  0 -  0
 West Florida........  0  1 -  1
 
 SCORING SUMMARY:
  1.  76:31 UWF Chelsea Palmer (16) (Sashana Campbell) - rebound from in front after goalie punched away 11's initial shot

 Shots: UC San Diego 15, West Florida 19
 Saves: UC San Diego 7 (Kelcie Brodsky 7), West Florida 5 (Sarah Story
 4; TEAM 1)

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