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Quick First Half Burst Leads Women's Soccer To Sun Belt Title Match After A 2-1 Win Over Georgia Southern


Thalia Morisi had a goal and an assist in Friday's semifinal

FOLEY, Ala. -- Thalia Morisi had a goal and assisted on Rhea Kijowski's goal during a 51 second span of the first half as Old Dominion made it stand to advance to their third straight conference title match following a 2-1 win over Georgia Southern in the Sun Belt semifinals on Friday.
With the win, second-seeded ODU (12-2-5) will take on fifth-seeded James Madison on Sunday at 2 pm ET for the Sun Belt Conference title. JMU defeated top-seeded South Alabama 1-0 in Friday's second semifinal. Old Dominion won the 2021 Conference USA title and last year took the Sun Belt championship in its first year in the league.
"We are thrilled with the win tonight and the manner in which we did it. I thought we started so strong and looked so hungry," said ODU Head Coach Angie Hind. "Some of our play was great and I thought the goals we scored were well worked."
ODU opened the scoring at 12:39 of the first half when Morisi sent in a blast from just inside the penalty box that was saved by Georgia Southern goalie Quinn Wilson. That save landed at the feet of Kijowski who stuck it in the right side of the net for an early 1-0 ODU advantage.
A quick 51 seconds later, Old Dominion made the score 2-0 as Katie Lutz served the ball into the box where Morisi stuck one by the diving Wilson to double up the advantage.
Georgia Southern, who entered the match undefeated in its last eight matches, cut the deficit in half in the 25th minute as Isabel Kopp connected with Ansleigh Crenshaw for a goal to trim the lead to 2-1. That was the first goal allowed by the Monarchs in the first half all season.
The remainder of the half saw ODU pepper the net with a 17-2 advantage in shots. On the night, ODU outshot the Eagles 22-10.
"But a team with the quality and experience of winning that Georgia Southern has makes it so hard to defend them for 90 minutes," said Hind. "You sleep for one moment and they punish you and that's what happened with their goal. But overall, we stood strong to the end and it was such a great team performance."