2013 NCAA D-II Southeast Region Champs....Wingate Bulldogs

Jade Montgomery didn’t far to travel when she graduated from Monroe’s Piedmont High School and enrolled at Wingate University, also in Monroe.

She was a goalscorer in high school and for three seasons has been a goalscorer for the Bulldogs.

Only a junior, the two-time SAC Player of the Year led the Bulldogs to a historic 2013 season. Wingate went 16-3-4 overall , winning the SAC tournament for the second time in three seasons. She picked up a couple of All-America honors.

The Bulldogs advanced to the NCAA postseason for the third consecutive season, and as the #1 seed in the NCAA D-II Southeast regional, hosted the first two rounds of the tournament for the first time.

Wingate rolled through the regional championship with a 2-0 win over Belmont Abbey (15-4-4), and hosted both the NCAA Sweet 16 and Elite Eight.

As a sophomore, Montgomery led the nation in scoring with 21 goals and was named South Atlantic Conference Female Athlete of the Year. She became the first player in program history to earn first team NCAA Division II All-America.

Montgomery, who was named 2013 Southeast Region Player of the Year, led the SAC with 17 goals, 11 assists and 45 points as a junior.

She registered at least one point in 16 of Wingate’s 23 matches in this past season, finishing with five multi-goal games. Over three seasons she has scored 51 goals with 19 assists, with 15 multi-goal games, including four hat tricks.

The Bulldogs, 16-4-3 overall, lost to defending national champion and eventual runnerup West Florida, 3-2 in the Elite Eight match. Montgomery scored the first Wingate goal.

Wingate earned the #8 spot in the final NSCAA Division II rankings. It is the highest ranking in the history of Wingate women’s soccer.

“I am extremely happy for all of the players,” said head coach Chip Wiggins. “What a great final compliment to all of the work that went into the season by all of the players. We hope that as a program we can continue to build on the foundation the senior class has laid for this program.”

While Montgomery was on the end of a lot of goals, she wasn’t the only outstanding player on the Wingate side.

Senior Chandler Murphy (Pawleys Island, SC) was first team All-SAC and All-Region, earning honorable mention All-American honors from Dakrronics.

Murphy was joined in the defense by All-SAC selections Brandi Baldwin (Indian Trail, NC) and Macy Franklin (Conover, NC).

Junior goalkeeper Ashlyn Hardie (Summerfield, NC) was All-Region and led the SAC with an .853 save percentge and a 0.57 goals against average.

Wiggins, who took the head coaching position at Wingate back on Feb. 14, 2013, inherited a team with a core of players from North Carolina. Fifteen of the 23 players on the roster hail from the Tar Heel state, and two are from South Carolina.

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