BR-16 Thomas More Head Coach Jeff Cummings is in his 10th season at the helm of the Saints, coming off a 2014 season that saw the team advance to the NCAA Division III Tournament Sectional Finals (Elite Eight). Cummings was named President’s Athletic Conference Coach of the Year for the third time in the last four seasons, setting the table for an exciting 2015 campaign.
So far this season, the Saints have outscored their first eight opponents by a combined margin of 19-2 and have made 130 shots (16.3 per game), while posting six shutouts behind a stifling defense, anchored by All-American defender Abby Osborne.
After opening the season with a win and a tie, Thomas More has put together a run of six straight wins, allowing just two goals along the way. The only blemish on the Saint’s record so far this season is an on-the-road, scoreless double-overtime tie with BR-61 Case-Western.
In action last week, sophomore forward Julia Flagge-Echols earned honors as the PAC Offensive Player of the Week. The Saints posted a 2-0 record on the week, with shutout wins over BR-189 Transylvania and BR-91 Ohio Northern. Flagg-Echols tallied seven points on three goals, with one assist, including the game-winner against ONU. Between the pipes, junior goalkeeper Megan Barton earned both shutouts, making a total nine saves in the two games. Barton has allowed just two goals all season, posting a 0.24 goals-against average.
The Saints punched in two goals in the final 25 minutes of play to defeat BR-155 DePauw in a non-conference match at BB&T Field, as the Saints moved to 7-0-1 on the season. When a pass from junior defender Josie Perrino found classmate, and reigning PAC Player of the Year, Olivia Huber open in the 35th minute, Huber found the back of the net to give the Saints the early lead.
At the 52 minute mark, DePauw found the back of the Saint’s net, earning just the second goal allowed for the Saint defense this season. Flagge-Echols then stepped up, scoring the eventual game-winner at the 67 minute mark to put the Saints up 2-1. Sophomore defender Samantha Goodwin chipped in an unassisted insurance goal with 10 minutes left in regulation to move score to the final, 3-1. Barton was once again stellar in net, allowing just one goal recording five saves.
Flagge-Echols and Huber lead the Saints in goals, with seven and six respectively, with both adding a pair of assists.
After claiming the 2014 PAC title, Thomas More added to their championship streak run, having notched four consecutive titles (2011-14). Since joining the PAC in 2005, the Saints have won a total of five championships. Thomas More’s current four-year title streak is tied with BR-369 Bethany (1991-1994).
With just one opponent remaining on the schedule ranking lower than 200 (BR-135 Grove City), the Saints and their powerhouse defense should continue to roll into the post-season.