South Alabama wins 2021 Sun Belt Women’s Soccer Tournament Championship
Published 1:45 pm Tuesday, November 9, 2021
A goal in the 56th minute by Gracie Wilson, the 2021 Sun Belt Player of the Year and the Tournament’s Most Valuable Player, was the difference-maker on Sunday in the second-seeded Jaguars’ 1-0 win against fourth-seeded Georgia Southern at the Foley Sports Tourism Complex.
South Alabama (12-4-3) now has eight all-time Sun Belt Women’s Soccer Tournament Championships, which is the most by any program in league history. The Jaguars opened the tournament by advancing past Little Rock in penalty kicks, defeating Georgia State 1-0 and beating Georgia Southern 1-0.
All 10 matches in the 2021 Sun Belt Women’s Soccer Tournament were decided by one or fewer goals for the first time in the event’s history.
“Congratulations to South Alabama and Coach Richard Moodie on their Sun Belt Women’s Soccer Tournament Championship” said Sun Belt Commissioner Keith Gill. “This has been one of the most competitive seasons in Sun Belt women’s soccer history, evidenced by the play of all 11 teams in this tournament.”
The two teams played a scoreless first half, but the Jaguars held a 10-1 edge in shots after the opening period. Eleven minutes into the second half, Wilson spun around her defender and launched in a shot for the only goal of the match. It was Wilson’s 11th goal of the season.
For the match, South Alabama out-shot Georgia Southern 17-4, including a 6-2 edge in shots on goal.
South Alabama goalkeeper Jaidy Gutierrez Campos went the full 90 minutes with a pair of saves. Georgia Southern keeper Michaela English played all 90 minutes with five saves. Both goalkeepers, who are freshmen, were named to the All-Tournament Team.
“Make no mistake, these student-athletes are champions. They were champions from day one in preseason,” South Alabama head coach Richard Moodie said. “It’s about the memories – let’s keep going – our objective as a coaching staff is to push a program as far as it can and make it better. For us, we’ve got our eyes set on the national tournament and where that will take us.”
Georgia Southern (11-7-4) was making its first appearance in the Sun Belt Women’s Soccer Tournament Championship Final.
The Sun Belt Conference Women’s Soccer Tournament was played in Foley for the sixth consecutive year. The conference has begun a 10-year agreement to make the Foley Sports Tourism Complex the event’s long-term home.
“We’re grateful for our long-term partnership with the Foley Sports Tourism Complex and the city of Foley,” Gill said. “This is a great environment for our student-athletes, coaches and fans.”
The NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Selection Show will take place on Monday at 3:30 p.m. CT. The show will be streamed live at NCAA.com.
2021 Sun Belt Women’s Soccer All-Tournament Team
MVP – Gracie Wilson, South Alabama
Jaidy Gutierrez Campos, South Alabama
Kate Nicolson, South Alabama
Monique Gray, South Alabama
Claudia Gutierrez, South Alabama
Marcela Montoya, Georgia Southern
Michaela English, Georgia Southern
Sade Heinrichs, Georgia Southern
Olivia Durham, Georgia Southern
Jimena Cabrero, Georgia State
Mara Grutkamp, ULM
All-Time Sun Belt Women’s Soccer Tournament Champions
2001 – Denver
2002 – Denver
2003 – Denver
2004 – North Texas
2005 – North Texas
2006 – Denver
2007 – Denver
2008 – Denver
2009 – Denver
2010 – Middle Tennessee
2011 – FIU
2012 – North Texas
2013 – South Alabama
2014 – South Alabama
2015 – South Alabama
2016 – South Alabama
2017 – South Alabama
2018 – Little Rock
2019 – South Alabama
2020 – South Alabama
2021 – South Alabama