Bulldogs Win SoCon Regular Season, SoCon Tournament, first NCAA tournament win in 16 years
Samford Soccer continues to set new standards for its program, and this year is no different.
When it seemed like seven straight regular season Southern Conference titles was the ceiling for the program, head coach Todd Yelton’s Bulldogs took it to the next level this year. Samford won their eighth straight regular season title and extended their streak of unbeaten Southern Conference games to 35.
Samford is currently riding a 13 game win streak that began all the way back on September 24th. The Bulldogs won all nine regular season conference games with an average margin of victory of 2.22 goals. The next highest was Furman at a .67 mark.
The Bulldogs remained hot and carried this season-long momentum into the SoCon tournament where they defeated UT Chattanooga, Mercer and Furman on the way to their first tournament title since 2019.
Their 4-2 win over Furman in the championship round avenged last year’s championship loss to the Paladins. In fact, the four goals scored by Mary Raymond (2), Ella Simpson (1) and Alyssa Frazier (1) were the most by a team in the final since 1997, another record added to the books by this year’s talented team.
After dominating the Southern Conference, the Bulldogs traveled down to Auburn in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Nov. 12. Samford successfully avenged an earlier 1-2 defeat to Auburn with a 2-0 win, bouncing Auburn from the tournament and advancing to play St. John’s in the second round.
This monumental win against Auburn was the first time Samford has ever won an NCAA tournament game in regulation.
Samford Soccer simply owned the Southern Conference this season, and it was proved both on the field and in the post- season awards. Taylor Yount, Alyssa Frazier and Kylie Gazza (also named Defensive Player of the Year) all were named to the All-SoCon First Team while Mary Raymond, Lindsay Origliasso and Morgan McAslan were named to the second team.
Also getting an all-conference nod was freshman Anna Major who made the all freshman team. Todd Yelton took home a very much deserved Coach of The Year award as well.
Over the 810 minutes of play this conference season, the Bulldogs only trailed for 40 minutes of it. The Bulldog defense excelled in allowing the midfielders and forwards to attack and pressure opponents to create scoring opportunities. On top of that, goalkeeper Morgan McAslan has 10 shutouts and allowed 16 goals over the entire year.
That’s .37 goals an hour, or roughly 3 convo credits per goal.
On offense, the Bulldogs were led by senior forward Alyssa Frazier, junior midfielder Mary Raymond and junior midfielder Taylor Yount.
Raymond is the team’s leading goal scorer with nine goals, including her game winner from the first round of the NCAA Tournament against Auburn, while Frazier leads the team in total points with seven goals and ten assists. Yount has been perfectly balanced at the striker position scoring seven goals and assisting seven goals.
These three have combined for 67 points total on the year, which is over half of the team’s production and 19 more points than the team has allowed during competition.
On Friday, Nov. 19, the Bulldogs’ season ended after falling to St. John’s 2-2 in penalty kicks. Regardless of this loss, the 2021 Samford Soccer season will likely be remembered as one of the greatest in pro- gram history.