February 23, 2024
The PLNU group celebrates its Div. II title. Photograph credit score: @PLNU through X

Level Loma Nazarene captured the NCAA Division II Girls’s Soccer nationwide championship in Matthews, N.C. Saturday, with a 1-0 win over Washburn College.
 
Higher but, PLNU posted a milestone achievement – its first NCAA title in any sport.

Coach Kristi Kiely tried to instill this thought into her group’s heads earlier than the match – “Hey, you’re taking part in a soccer recreation with your pals. We’re simply attempting to win one other recreation.”

“And now it’s right here and it’s outstanding,” she stated. “I’m very pleased with these girls.”

Emma Thrapp’s header within the 53rd minute off a Grace Nelson nook kick proved to be the distinction on the best way to the Sea Lions saved their fifth-straight postseason shutou

Julia Pinnell made three saves in objective to maintain Washburn scoreless. The sophomore goalkeeper didn’t enable a objective in her final 915 minutes and 35 seconds performed this season.
 
The Sea Lions, a No. 4 seed, outshot the Ichabods, out of Topeka, Kan., 10-3 within the first half and practically broke the scoreless impasse greater than as soon as. Nicki Friedman compelled a diving save and Bethany Arabe practically beat the goalkeeper on the close to put up after slipping previous a few defenders.
 
Pinnell, simply as she did in Thursday’s 3-0 semifinal victory over top-seed Florida Tech, made an enormous one-on-one save within the first half to maintain Washburn (21-4-1), seeded third, from scoring.

Within the second half, it didn’t take lengthy for PLNU to take the lead, as Thrapp, usually the group’s nook kick taker, this time left the honors to Nelson. She lofted an ideal cross to the again put up for Thrapp, a second group All-American, to attain.

“Grace simply type of positioned it superbly on my head,” Thrapp stated.
 
Her fifth game-winning objective of the season was greater than sufficient, as PLNU lowered its objectives towards common to 0.52 with a thirteenth shutout on the yr. The Sea Lions additionally held Washburn to only eight photographs over 90 minutes.

Thrapp was named the NCAA Championships Most Precious Participant. She was joined on the All-Event Workforce by Pinnell, Bethany Arabe and Alana Diaz.
 
Level Loma (17-3-1) set a brand new program document for many wins in a single season in its NCAA period, whereas ending the yr on an 11-game successful streak, tied for longest in program historical past.