The women's soccer
team was crowned the National Champions at the NCCAA National Soccer Tournament,
held at Austin Tindall Soccer Complex in Kissimmee, Florida. The Trolls,
the No. 2 seed, defeated the top ranked Trinity International University
(IL), 1-0, in the championship game.
This was the
first trip to this tournament for the women's soccer program, which finished
their season with a record of 21-5-3, and the first national title for
The Trolls, who
have had a hard time scoring against Trinity International in their previous
meetings, took control of the game early on. They were aggressive offensively,
totaling 13 shots-on-goal in the game and holding TIU to just three attempts.
The one attempt that made the difference came 15 minutes into the first
period. Jess Eenigenburg took the ball down the sideline and fed
it to Mindi Harkema, who was open in the middle of the field. Harkema
dribbled the ball, faced the goalie one-one-one, and finished with a shot
that found the back of the net.
The team protected
that lead throughout the remaining minutes. Each time Trinity International
started a run, the Trolls took control and brought the ball back to their
offensive end. As time wound down, the team maintained focus and composure,
confidently taking the win.
was the fourth meeting between these two teams this season. The Trolls
had lost to TIU in conference play, 2-1, were defeated on penalty kicks
in the conference championship, and came up short, 1-0, in the NCCAA region
finals. However in the most important meeting, the Trolls produced the
victory for the national title.
To get to the
championship game, the team defeated Dallas Baptist University (TX), 5-2,
in the first round and Hope International University (CA), 2-0, in the
The team was
awarded with a championship banner and individual medallions. In addition,
Visser, Katie Visser, Natalie Buikema, and Mindi Harkema
were named to the All-Tournament Team. Jess Eenigenburg was named
the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
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