Johnson's Historic Day Lifts Huskers, 4-0 - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Johnson's Historic Day Lifts Huskers, 4-0

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The No. 2-seeded Nebraska soccer team advanced to the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament with a historic four-goal performance from freshman Jaycie Johnson on Friday as the Huskers defeated Southeastern Louisiana 4-0 at the Nebraska Soccer Field.

A native of Winnebago, Mo., Johnson is the fifth player in NCAA Tournament history to score four goals in a tournament match and the first freshman to accomplish the feat. She becomes the first NU player to notch four goals in an NCAA Tournament match and the just the fourth Husker to record four scores in a match.

The Second Team All-Big Ten honoree finished with career highs in goals (4), shots (9) and shots on goal (7) as she worked 59 minutes in Nebraska's first NCAA Tournament match since 2005. Johnson's 17 goals this season are tied for second best in Nebraska history amongst freshman.

The Scarlet and Cream took little time producing on offense as senior midfielder Jordan Jackson connected with Johnson on a one-two play from the right side of the box as NU's leading goal scorer put it over the keeper from close range. Jackson's assist gave the senior her 100th career point as NU took a 1-0 edge just 3:45 into the match.

Johnson struck once again in the 24th minute as the forward dribbled through four defenders from 35 yards into the box after a pass from Mayme Conroy. The speedy freshman finished it off from six out to the bottom left corner for the 2-0 lead.

In the 52nd minute, Jaycie Johnson registered the third NCAA Tournament hat trick in Nebraska soccer history off a corner from Sam Areman on a bouncing cross to the far post. Just four minutes later, Johnson added to the outstanding performance by heading home a crossing pass from Jackson to the far post for her fourth goal of the match.

The 10th-ranked Huskers (19-3-1) are riding the fifth-best win streak in school history at 10 games and have won 17 of their last 18 matches for the first time since 2000. The 19 victories, fourth most in program history, are NU's most since 2000, while scores in 19 consecutive matches are the most since that same season.

The Huskers are 16-10 all-time in their 11th trip to the NCAA Tournament and have never lost in the First Round. Nebraska has an 11-5-1 home record in the NCAA Tournament. The Scarlet and Cream are 15-0-1 when scoring 2 or more goals this season and 13-0-1 both when scoring first and when leading at the half.

Nebraska picked up its eighth shutout of the year behind a solid performance from both the offensive and defense units. Senior goalkeeper Emma Stevens earned her fifth clean sheet of the year, stopping three shots, while the offense produced a season-high 35 attempts, with 17 on target. SLU's keeper Hope Sabadash was impressive, despite allowing four scores, making 13 saves.

Senior defender Ari Romero once again played the entire match on the back line for NU, extending her streak to 14 contests where she worked every second. Freshman Sydney Miramontez registered a career-high six shot attempts, including two on goal. Jackson also recorded six shot attempts, while putting four on target on her way to posting two assists.

The Huskers move on to face the winner of Northeastern and Boston College. NU's Second Round contest will take place on Friday, Nov. 22 at a time and location to be announced on Sunday. Nebraska looks to notch its seventh Sweet 16 appearance with a victory next Friday.

NEBRASKA POSTGAME QUOTES

November 15, 2013
NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Championships

First Round
FINAL: Nebraska 4, Southeastern Louisiana 0

Senior Goalkeeper Emma Stevens

On quick possession changes

"It makes my job easier. It makes the defense's job easier. It's just so nice to know that when our team is taking care of business that we're gonna be successful and it's going to be a fun game to play. You always want to win by a good goal margin. Four is great. It's even better when you get the shutout."

On challenges

"They had the one shot to my right. At halftime, we just came in and said to keep doing what we're doing and execute what we do. There's always going to be games like that, but when it does come to me, I have to do my job."

On the Huskers' holding a majority of possession time

"When you have teams that are successful and make it into the tournament and are a top seed like we are, you don't really know what to expect. We came out not really worrying about our opponent, just worrying about what we have to do as a team. We executed it."

On Jaycie Johnson

"It was awesome. After the fourth goal, I was joking around with Maritza [Hayes], saying she was selfish. But when you're that good, you can be selfish. When she can score four goals in a game, we're going to be a very successful team. It's obviously not just Jaycie. We have a great attacking core that's going to get her the ball. Just knowing that she's going to finish it is awesome."

Freshman Forward Jaycie Johnson

On matching the NCAA record for most goals scored in a NCAA tournament game

"I didn't actually know that until you said that. I just have to give a lot of props to my teammates. They make it so easy for me. They play me easy balls. Jordan [Jackson] had three good crosses to me. They make my job easier to score and to get into the position of scoring. I'm just so happy to have my teammates behind my back. They trust me enough to play me those balls and do the job and get them in the back of the net."

On the early goal

"The early goal was very good for us just to know that we are in the lead. We can handle the momentum and control the game. That helps us to relax a lot more and just not panic. The early goal and first four minutes was really good for us. That was a positive for us. We just kept building from that. We just kept playing our game well and connecting our movement. It was great on and off the ball. Our defense did a phenomenal job in the back. It just helped us a lot."

On the trickiest goal

"I think the trickiest for me was my second goal. I was just trying to find the space and cut in and out of the players. That was a little bit harder just to stay on my feet and not get the ball kicked out of the way. That was probably the trickiest."

Head Coach John Walker

On attacking:

I thought we attacked pretty well. The first half maybe settled for shooting from distance too much, instead of getting balls wide and crossing more and trying to penetrate closer to their back line. We did address that a little bit, but overall I thought attacking play was good today.

On Jaycie Johnson's freshman season:

I thought she was a player that was somewhat college ready. She comes from a really good club program and I've known her for quite a while. She's come to our camps for quite some time. I did feel there was that potential and of course with the other attacking players, Mayme, Jordan, Katie, etc. there was good balance there as well. I felt that she could have this type of year.

On Jaycie Johnson making history:

She's a goal scorer that's inclusive and what I mean by that is she understands that if people set her up for goals, and she lets them know. She celebrates the goals with a lot of passion. Like I said she's an inclusive goal sorcerer and always has a smile on her face so I'm very happy for her.

On holding onto possession:

It's nice. We've gone through a stretch of games, obviously in the conference, where there's so many tight games that are down to the wire. Today's game was a little different. I thought Southeast Louisiana did very well, a very well organized team, played very hard, but it was certainly nice to have the ball for long periods and not have to worry about defending quite as much. It was an enjoyable game for sure.

On what this win means:

For me personally, it's good, but I'm more excited for the players-the ones that have been in the program for a few years. We were very close in a couple games the last couple of years and sometimes the games have gone the wrong way, so it's nice to see them on the other end of it now where they have success and they've stuck with it and supported each other and they've put a lot into their own development. I'm very very happy for those players especially the older ones.

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