Westmont Women’s Soccer (15-3-2) had little trouble advancing to the second round of the NAIA National Championship on Saturday afternoon at Thorrington Field. The eighth-ranked Warriors defeated Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) by a score of 6-0 to punch their ticket to the final site in Orange Beach, Ala.
“It was a strong performance in the opening round of the national tournament,” said Westmont head coach Chantel Cappuccilli. “I was very pleased with our consistency over the 90 minutes. No matter who stepped on the field today, I felt like the effort and the mentality were the same. That is a positive thing headed into the round of 16.
The scoring started early for the Warriors when Alanna Richards headed in a corner kick from Angela Brown with just 15 minutes expired from the clock. Kaitlynn Durham earned the corner kick by forcing a ball off of an Eagle’s defender. Brown earned her 10th assist of the season by delivering the ball from the right corner across the face of the goal. Richards scored her fifth goal of the year by heading the ball sharply to the ground where it bounced over the keeper on its way to the opposite side of the net.
Less than three minutes later, Sophie Fuller, who was playing in her first game after sitting out with an injury, dribbled from the back to midfield. Fuller advanced the ball to Brooke Lillywhite on the left side who then redirected it to Kelsey Steck in front of the goal. Steck, left undefended, settled the ball and fired from just inside the top of the box.