Maryville College fell in a hard-fought Championship match on Saturday afternoon, as Piedmont College claimed the conference title behind an early goal, 1-0.
The Lions scored just before the half, as they were able to keep the Scots off the board throughout the second half of play.
"Obviously, they're disappointed," Associate Head Coach Jon Baker said. "It's hard to see now, but it's been an unbelievable season for them. Obviously, you want to win the final game. We knew it was going to be fine margins between the difference. Giving up a goal before halftime, we knew it was going to be an uphill battle, and we weren't able to get back at it."
MC finishes the 2018 campaign with an impressive 13-6-0 record. The Scots went a perfect 8-0 in conference play, as they earned the USA South Western Division Regular Season Championship.
"It's been awesome," Baker said. "This group has been fantastic. They've overcome a lot of obstacles this year. We had a few girls with injuries at the beginning of the season, and ultimately, a few girls for the season. The girls bounced back and played some unbelievable soccer. To win the regular season and go undefeated [in conference play], it says a lot about this group. We just wish we could have gotten over that final hurdle."
The USA South Player of the Year Bailey Sipos earned All-Tournament honors as a forward, while Lexie Hill's game-winner in the semifinals earned her a spot on the All-Tournament squad. Shannon Reagan was named All-Tournament as a midfielder, while Jenna Clothier made the squad as a defender.
Piedmont College struck with just more than 10 minutes left in the opening half. Gabby Lotter got free down the left side of the field, crossing the ball into the box at the middle of the net. Allie Kuzel collected it, as an MC defender slipped. Kuzel popped the ball over the Scot, going one-on-one with the keeper. Kuzel lofted a high shot into the upper left corner for the 1-0 advantage.
Piedmont outshot Maryville 9-2 in the opening half, as the Lions held a 4-0 advantage on corner kicks.
They would extend that 14 shots to four for the match, as Piedmont was called for 14 total fouls in the physical match.
"We knew it was going to be that way coming in," Baker said. "Playing on turf where the ball just bounces around, it's tough. We knew that we were going to have to try to impose our style of play. We struggled to do that at times."
Maryville's Clothier had two of MC's four shots in the match, as Reagan and Emily Guigou had the others.
Abbey Coleman had five saves with 90 minutes in net.
Piedmont's Cassidy Reich had three shots with one on frame, while Kuzel had two with each on goal.