NATIONAL CHAMPIONS!!! (11/21/05)

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 college. 

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.
 
This contest 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 semifinals. 

The team was awarded with a championship banner and individual medallions. In addition, Tina 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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