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Central Missouri women roll to Division II title game as Rockhurst men suffer semifinal heartbreak

National title games for the 2017 NCAA Division II Soccer Championships are set to kick off Saturday at Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, Missouri.

The highly anticipated doubleheader begins on the women’s side at noon CT when Central Missouri and Carson-Newman (Tenn.) aim to become national champions for the first time in program history. The mouthwatering matchup features a pair of undefeated teams who are both making their maiden appearances in the NCAA Division II final.

The men’s final at 3 p.m. CT pits two teams who have fallen just short of national championship glory in recent years. Charleston (W. Va.) finishes as runners-up in 2014 and 2016, bookending Lynn’s second-place finish in 2015. Lynn (Fla.) — the alma mater of Sporting KC goalkeeper Tim Melia — is a three-time national champion at the Division II level, while the Charleston Eagles are looking for their first title.

Tickets for the doubleheader are available at ncaa.com/tickets or at the Swope Soccer Village box office on Saturday.

An entertaining day of semifinal action unfolded Thursday at Children’s Mercy Victory Field inside Swope Soccer Village, highlighted by a dominant performance from the Central Missouri women and a narrow loss for the Rockhurst men.

Women’s semifinal: Carson-Newman vaults into uncharted waters

The Carson-Newman Eagles (21-0-1) earned a 2-1 victory over UC-Colorado Springs behind goals in either half from Magda and Emily Futrell. The Mountain Lions (17-5-1) cut the deficit in half when Anna Gregg scored in the 76th minute, but Carson-Newman held on to advance.

Women’s semifinal: Rampant Central Missouri cruises in style

The Central Missouri Jennies pushed their perfect record to 25-0-0 with a 3-0 defeat of Mercy College (N.Y.). Goalkeeper Ana Dilkes posted her 64th career shutout and her 21st of the season, extending her all-time Division II record, while Megan Woolley, Makayla Toth and Jada Scott scored goals at the expense of the Mavericks (18-4-1).

Men’s semifinals: Rockhurst suffers penalty-kick heartbreak

Kansas City’s own Rockhurst Hawks (16-2-3) endured their fourth national semifinal loss in five seasons as the Lynn Fighting Knights (14-3-3) emerged victorious 3-0 on penalties following a 110-minute scoreless tie. Goalkeeper Alexander Roth saved a Rockhurst attempt in the shootout and Simon Kraemer bagged the game-winner to hand the Hawks another bitter defeat at the semifinal stage.

Men’s semifinals: Charleston leaves it late in dramatic victory

The nightcap appeared destined for a 0-0 draw just like the men’s match that preceded it, but an 88th-minute strike from Charleston’s Patrick Guier was turned into the net by Cal Poly Pomona goalkeeper Jason Trejos to give the Eagles (20-1-2) a last-gasp winner. The Broncos (17-6-1) mustered just two shots on goal against a Charleston side that created multiple chances over the course of the match.

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