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Raiders beat Campbellsville, earn date with No. 1 William Carey

HATTIESBURG, Miss. — Southern Oregon may have been somewhat surprised to receive an at-large spot in the NAIA Championships Opening Round earlier this week, but Raiders acted like they belonged Friday in their first-ever national playoff game.

SOU’s 2-0 defeat of Campbellsville (Ky.) at Crusader Field was a business-as-usual affair and the Raiders’ eighth consecutive shutout, marking a new team record. A trio of freshmen delivered late to handle the scoring, as Madison Childers set up Sarah Mauk for the go-ahead header in the 70th minute and Baylee Touey got free to add an exclamation point in the 86th.

The Raiders (12-5-3) are among the last 31 teams standing in the NAIA. To reach the 16-team final site, they’ll have to go through No. 1 William Carey (Miss.) (18-1) and become the first to knock out the nation’s top-ranked team in the Opening Round since the format was adopted in 2008.

SOU and the Crusaders will kick off at 11 a.m. (Pacific) Saturday on WCU’s home field.

“To play and win on this stage is a big deal for us, and it’s a tribute to everyone who has helped build this program over the last 20 years,” SOU head coach Jenni Rosenberg said. “William Carey is going to be really, really good — they’re big, strong, dynamic — but we’ll embrace the challenge again.”

Campbellsville, an at-large representative of the Mid-South Conference, finished its season with a 12-6 record, dropping five of its final eight games.

The Tigers got off just nine shots as SOU keepers Kailey Lemon and Jessie Shelby teamed up for the shutout, stretching SOU’s streak of minutes without a goal allowed to 777.

After putting two shots on goal in the first half, the Raiders had five on target in the second. Aislinn Waite initiated the first scoring sequence, stepping in front of a pass at midfield and sending the ball wide. Childers waited for it and approached the box down the right sideline, lofting a pass to the far post for her team-leading fourth assist.

The goal was Mauk’s fifth of 2019.

Touey tallied later tallied her team-leading ninth goal by beating a defender to a free ball near the sideline and dribbling in for a one-on-one opportunity against keeper Katelyn Young. Young sat back, leaned and watched Touey send an untouched liner past her.

“We may have been a little jittery coming out,” Rosenberg said. “There was definitely a mentality switch in the second half and we buckled down and organized ourselves properly.”

SOU’s eight-game unbeaten streak is also the longest in program history. Before it started, the Raiders had gone 0-3-1 during a four-game stretch at the beginning of October.