Lady Hornets draw South Carolina in NCAA soccer tourney

MONTGOMERY, Ala. ( – A day after winning its’ first SWAC Championship in school history, the Alabama State women’s soccer team discovered their opponent and destination in their first NCAA Tournament berth.

Celebrating in the ballroom of the student center on the campus of ASU, players donned in bright red and black SWAC championship garb gathered along with coaches, cheerleaders, administrators and the media to eagerly learn the next chapter in its’ storybook season.

Players cheered loudly as Alabama State popped up on the screen following the name of top-seeded South Carolina (18-1-1) in a first round match up set for Friday at 7 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. CT in Columbia, S.C.

“Before the season began, my coaches and I looked at new technology to track our fitness and I made sure that I stayed on them about it,” said ASU head coach Jodie Smith at the podium addressing the room.

“I wasn’t always easy on them.  I’ll be the first to admit that.  But, for me and everybody involved, we couldn’t be happier with the end result.”

For Smith, he knew full well of how it felt to be so close to a championship only to lose in a nail biter.

“I’ve been on the other side of it,” said Smith, who has led the Lady Hornets to the SWAC Championship in three of the four previous seasons.

Now, in his 10th season at the helm, Smith and his Lady Hornets can bask in the glory of bringing home the championship trophy to Montgomery.

The Lady Hornets (11-9-1) ran their unbeaten streak to 10 consecutive matches (9-0-1 during this span) with a historic 2-1 victory against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Sunday at Prairie View A&M’s new soccer facility.

SWAC Tournament MVP Ariela Lewis scored both goals in the match.

Alabama State enters the tournament as the top-scoring team in the country with 62 goals scored.