By Kaci Mexico
November 30, 2015
It took a pair of back-to-back goals scored in under a minute for #8 Westmont (16-3-2) to prevail over #9 Grace (Ind.) (15-3-3) in a Round of 16 game of the NAIA Women’s Soccer National Tournament. The final score was 2-0.
“My main word for them before the game was, ‘you have to come out with urgency and intensity in the first half and you have to set the tone of the game’,” explained head coach Chantel Cappuccilli. “I felt they did that in the first half. It was well done to get two early goals and dictate the momentum in the first half. In this tournament, you have to start each game that way.”
The first goal began in the 21st minute when senior Kaitlyn Swift, on the dribble, muscled her way past a Grace defender and bolted down the right sideline towards the end line. She then served a beautiful cross towards the back corner of the six-yard box. Sophomore Jackie Lopez arrived right when the ball did and volleyed it into the right-upper side of the goal for a one-time finish.
Forty seconds later, senior Kelsey Steck scored her 23rd goal of the season in an impressive individual showing. It began when Steck stripped the ball off of the foot of a Lancer defender at 25 yards out. She immediately accelerated towards the goal, with several Lancer defenders on her back. She beat two more lancer defenders while dribbling across the top of the 18-yard box until the Lancer goalkeeper rushed off of the goal line to confront her. She dove, and Steck touched the ball past her hands, calmly slipping the ball into the back of the net.
With this goal, Steck is tied for second, with Karin Sullivan (2003), for number of goals scored in a season.