Lancaster Bible College Wins First-Ever NEAC Women's Soccer Championship, Now Headed to Second Straight NCAA Tournament

The Lancaster Bible College women's soccer team won the school's first-ever NEAC Championship

READING, Pa. – The Lancaster Bible College women's soccer team won the school's first-ever North Eastern Athletic Conference Championship on Sunday, defeating Penn State Berks 2-0 in Reading, Pa. With the win, the Chargers receive the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III National Tournament. (The Chargers received the bid last season as well due to the fact Penn State Abington was not eligible after defeating LBC in the NEAC Final.)

A scoreless first half saw each team earn very few scoring chances, but Penn State Berks earned the first half's best scoring chance as freshman Caitlin Deibler (Jamison, Pa.) drilled a shot that was going in, but the outstretched hand of Chargers senior goalkeeper Emily Lloyd (Northumberland, Pa.) caught a piece of the ball and deflected it off the crossbar and away from the goal.

The game would remain a defensive battle through the first 15 minutes of the second half, but the scoreless tie was ended at the 60:40 mark when senior Whitney Heise (Danville, Pa.) collected a ball from sophomore Sarah Heilenman (Williamsport, Pa.) and drilled a shot over Nittany Lions' goalkeeper Savannah Cramer (Wrightsville, Pa.) to give Lancaster Bible a 1-0 lead.  

Minutes later, Heilenman made a great defensive save as she headed a ball that was headed toward the back of the net to keep the Chargers ahead.  The Nittany Lions continued to look for the equalizing goal, but LBC did a good job of clearing the ball on the defensive end and even continued to generate their own scoring chances.

With just under six minutes to play, Heise would add another goal on a short-side shot that beat Cramer to the left and gave LBC a 2-0 advantage. 

The score would become final with 1:29 left to play, as the officials called an end to the game when a student-athlete suffered a serious head injury and had to be attended to. 

Heise was named the Tournament MVP after scoring three goals in the Chargers' two playoff games. 

The Chargers (17-4) will find out their opponent for the First Round of the NCAA Division III Tournament on Monday when the games are announced on www.ncaa.com at 1 p.m.  LBC faced nationally ranked William Smith last season in the opening round of the tournament.

*Majority of release courtesy of Zach Freeman, Lancaster Bible College sports information director

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The North Eastern Athletic Conference has thirteen NCAA Division III member institutions which include: Cazenovia College, College of St. Elizabeth, Gallaudet University, Keuka College, Lancaster Bible College, Pennsylvania State University - Abington, Pennsylvania State University - Berks, Pennsylvania State University -Harrisburg, SUNY Cobleskill, SUNY Institute of Technology, SUNY Morrisville State College, Wells College, and Wilson College.  Associate members are: Hilbert College (M Lacrosse), Medaille College (M&W Lacrosse) and Rutgers University - Camden (M Golf & M Tennis).  The North Eastern Athletic Conference has partnered with the North Atlantic Conference in the sports of men's and women's tennis.