In Jefferson City, Tenn., the best season in years for the University of North Carolina at Pembroke women's soccer team came to an end on Sunday when the Braves fell 1-0 to Carson-Newman in the second round of the NCAA Division II tournament.
UNCP, ranked No. 15 in the country, finished the season with a 19-3-1 record and was ranked as high as No. 6 after opening the year with an eight-game unbeaten streak.
Brittany Moore scored the lone goal for Carson-Newman, which was hosting the NCAA regional over the weekend.
“I don’t know if the girls were overwhelmed at the situation or if the cold got to them, but I take full responsibility," UNCP coach Lars Andersson said. "Carson-Newman came out ready to play and wanted it more.”
The Braves, who were limited to just one shot in the first half, couldn't muster much more offense in their effort to knot the game in the second half. UNCP managed just four more shots the remainder of the contest.
UNCP men split
In Elkins, W. Va., the UNCP men's basketball team opened the Ben Miller era with a victory at the 2008 D&E Tipoff Tournament. But the Braves couldn't give their first-year coach win No. 2 when they fell to Mercyhurst 92-79 in the tournament championship game on Sunday.
In its 78-64 victory over tournament host Davis & Elkins on Saturday, UNCP (1-1) showed off some of the characteristics Miller hopes his team will carry with it through the season. The Braves forced Davis & Elkins into 22 turnovers.
"Playing defense and rebounding are things that I think will come to us quicker than the other stuff," Miller said before Saturday's game. "A lot of that is just effort. The guys are still learning our system, so the offense is going to take time.
"Right now they're still thinking instead of just reacting."
UNCP looked all right offensively against Davis & Elkins, shooting 50 percent from the field. Brandon Thomas was won of five Braves to score in double figures, finishing with a team-high 15 points. Demarcus Lyday added 12 points, while Cortez Brown, Tyler Egil and David Moore each score 10 points.
In the championship game, UNCP had no answer for Mercyhurst junior Elliot Englemann, who scored a game-high 25 points.
Jason Smith led the Braves with 14 points. Brown chipped in with 12 points, while Scott McNeil finished with 11 points.
UNCP will be back in action on Friday when it opens the Zaxby's Tipoff Classic at Francis Marion with a contest with Coker. Game time is 6 p.m.
opens with win
In Belmont, UNCP avenged a loss to Belmont Abbey from a year ago with a 23-14 victory over the Crusaders in a dual meet on Saturday.
The Braves (1-0) won six of 10 matches, including four of the first five bouts. Erik Stancil's decisive victory in the heavyweight devision ultimately clinched the match for UNCP. The senior pinned Alex Dinielli in 18 seconds for the win.
The Braves also got victories from Russell Weakley, Mike Nash, Brandon Bradley, Aaron Hollifield, Rashaad Saunders and Conor Pryor.
UNCP makes its home debut on Saturday when it hosts the Pembroke Classic. Action gets underway at 9 a.m.