Warriors’ Title Hopes Dashed in Finals

First-year defender Sophie Fuller

First-year defender Sophie Fuller

An inspiring run for a national title came up one game short for the Westmont women’s soccer team. The No. 2 Warriors (17-2-5) stumbled against No. 4 Concordia (Ore.) 1-0 in the 2013 NAIA National Championship on Dec. 7 in Orange Beach, Ala.

After winning at home on penalty kicks against Westminster (Utah) on Nov. 23, the Warriors played four games in six days in Alabama defeating Martin Methodist (Tenn.), Davenport (Mich.) and Northwood (Fla.) before falling in the finals.

“They kept coming at us, and it was hard for us to keep the ball and hard for us to get anything going offensively,” Westmont head coach Kristi Kiely said. In fact, Kelsey Steck fired the Warrior’s lone shot on goal that didn’t come until the 81st minute. “The players never let up, just like every game,” she says. “It just didn’t go our way this time,” she said.

“I am really proud that the players reached this game. We walked into the tournament one game at a time and, all of a sudden, we were in the championship game.”

In post-game awards, three Warriors were named to the 2013 NAIA Women’s Soccer National Championship All-Tournament Team, including senior defender Alison Hensley, junior midfielder Tiffany Dimaculangan and freshman defender Sophie Fuller. Fuller was also named the Select Sport America-NAIA Championship Outstanding Defensive Player.