Women’s soccer writes history
The Concordia Courier
By Maad AlKadhim | 12/6/2022
The women’s soccer team wrote history this fall season by making it to the West Regional Finals for the first time in the program’s Division II history.
The Golden Eagles’ postseason run settled the score with Hawaii Hilo and Cal State LA, which defeated our Golden Eagles in the regular season and in the pre-season. This historic run was stopped by Western Washington, which ended up winning Nationals in the West Regional Final.
Losing to the game that became the National Champions was both upsetting and hopeful for the soccer team. Senior Riley Walkington said, “Obviously it is a bummer, but I think it shows that we would have been competing for the National Championship if we had gotten past Western Washington.”
Sophomore Olivia Ocampo said, “The best moment from our postseason run was definitely beating Hawaii Hilo, at least I would say. Everyone that we played this postseason we also played in our preseason and lost to. I think that us being able to come out and get a second game against these teams lit a fire under us. Previously losing to Hilo, it was nice to shock them at their home field and in front of their crowd to show that we are just as good as all of these other teams.”
Other programs did not expect the Golden Eagles to advance to the West Regional Final and considered the team as the underdog. This made the win against Hawaii Hilo more special to the team. Sophomore Kayla Murakami said, “Personally, the best moment in the postseason tournament was beating UH Hilo. With them being the number one seed in the conference, losing to them in conference, and us having to travel and play at their home field in front of 600 people, we were the underdogs of this game. For us to be down a goal and come back in double overtime, it was a huge upset, and I am so grateful I was able to experience that with this team.”
The historic run by the Lady Eagles was fueled by the fact that the Golden Eagles were facing teams that they fell short against earlier in the season. “Before the game, it was definitely nerve-racking and exciting. Both of these teams [Hawaii Hilo and Western Washington], we had lost to in preseason and in the regular season. So for me, I definitely wanted to go out there and prove that we are able to win,” said sophomore Sophia Munoz.
The fantastic performance of the women’s soccer team from the beginning of the regular season to the end of the postseason puts them in a position where they will be considered a team to be reckoned with going forward. The change in the team’s status among the fans and the conference changed their expectations for the future seasons.
“Knowing what we did this year, it obviously puts on pressure for next season and the future of this group to do good. However, it also gives us confidence for next season because we know what we are capable of accomplishing. This season will definitely be motivation for this group going forward and make us want to win the national championship,” said Murakami.
Ocampo seconded Murakami’s thoughts. “This performance definitely gives us confidence going into next year but no doubt puts pressure on our expectations. We now know and proved to ourselves that we are capable of making it to the postseason however this only makes us want to go farther, which undeniably is going to be accompanied by a bit of pressure,” said Ocampo.
None of the incredible postseason run would have been possible without the chemistry and confidence of the Golden Eagles. “This team is special and we’ve known that since the beginning so to know that we were able to make it that far shows the future of what more we are able to do,” said Munoz.
Ocampo emphasized the chemistry of the team and its role in the postseason success. Ocampo said, “I think an important factor that dictated our postseason success in comparison to last year was our team chemistry. We were definitely close last year however this year we spent a lot more time together and developing relationships off of the field which clearly contributed and translated to our success on the field.”
The women’s soccer team will return next fall to write more golden history and make the school and the fans proud. So be patient until then. For now, go support our winter sports which are back in action!
About Maad AlKadhim
More articles by Maad AlKadhim