Motlow Women’s Soccer clinches regular season crown

Motlow’s Janai Hosley (center) pushes the ball towards the goal line during the Bucks 6-0 win over Columbia State. Hosley scored a goal and added an assist in the victory. Motlow wears pink during October in observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. (Photo Courtesy of Motlow State)

WINCHESTER, Tenn. — It doesn’t matter how good your shooters are. If your opponent’s defense refuses to bend, a smothering defense wins every time. On Thursday in Winchester, the Motlow Bucks women’s soccer team won the TCCAA conference regular season title and clinched home field throughout the upcoming playoffs with a 6-0 win over Columbia State.

The regular season title is the fifth for the Bucks (12-2, 6-0) in six years of soccer competition. With the win, Motlow secures the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Region VII Tournament and will host any conference playoff games it plays. Due to the NJCAA rotating the Southeast District title game, the Bucks would also host that championship, with the winner advancing to the NJCAA national tournament.

The win was Motlow’s eleventh shutout of the season, tying it for the most in the nation. Motlow has allowed only one goal in its six conference victories, outscoring its opponents 37-1.

Karleigh Villanueva got the scoring started for Motlow with a goal at the 4:39 mark on an assist from Janai Hosley. Hosley followed up with a goal of her own at the 15:14 mark on an assist from Alysa Benton, who has 14 assists on the season to rank second nationally.

The Bucks extended their lead to 3-0 at the 25:32 mark with Grace Murray scoring on an assist from Maya Thiele. Alexis McMath scored the next two goals in quick succession. She got an assist from Katherine Clark at the 34:26 mark, then scored again 90 seconds later with an assist from Ellie Kirk. Thiele scored the final goal, all coming in the first half, on an assist from Clark at the 43:58 mark.

Motlow’s defense smothered Columbia’s offensive effort. Lucy Riddle played the full 90 minutes at goalkeeper for the Bucks and easily handled the only two shots on goal the Chargers managed. Meanwhile Motlow led Columbia in shots 30-3 and in corner kicks 10-2.

The Bucks will complete the regular season next week with a trip to Illinois. They play Illinois Central College in East Peoria on Oct. 17 at 2 p.m., then face Lewis & Clark on Oct. 19 in Godfrey, IL. The Region VII Tournament is scheduled to begin Oct. 24. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently-owned, community newspaper located in Lynchburg, Tennessee the home of The Jack Daniel Distillery. We focus on public service, non-partisan, rural journalism. We cover the Metro Moore County government, local tourism, Moore County schools, high school sports, Motlow State, as well as whiskey industry news and regional and state stories that affect our readers.}