A day after dethroning the defending national champions, Concordia University hoisted its first NAIA women's soccer national championship trophy, defeating No. 2-seeded Westmont College (Calif.) 1-0 in the NAIA championship match Saturday at the Orange Beach Sportsplex.
"It's an unbelievable feeling really," said Concordia head coach Grant Landy. "I just think it was our year this year for a number of reasons. I think we had a special group and they proved it this week in Orange Beach. It was a total team effort. I know they wanted this for me, but really it was all the hard work they put into the season. They have a really special bond and it showed this week."
Concordia outshot the Warriors 24-4 in the game but did not get on the board until a 65th-minute strike from senior Hannah Scott. The score was Scott's third of the tournament and second straight day with a game winner after giving the Cavs its lone goal in defeating No. 1-seeded Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) in the semifinals on Friday.
Concordia, the No. 4 seed in the tournament, closed out the year with 18 straight wins to finish the year with a 22-1-1 overall record. With the win, the Cavs also erased a three-game losing streak in the national finals after reaching the title match in 2004, 2008 and 2011.
The feat represented Concordia's second national championship for any sport, following the school's women's outdoor track & field title in 2011.
Westmont, the No. 2 seed, finished the season with a 17-2-5 record.
Concordia dominated possession the entire match, but failed the break through until the midway through the second half when Scott netted her third goal – all game-winners – of the event. The senior forward, who has been a terror to opposing defenses throughout the championship, took the shot from just outside the penalty area and buried it into the upper left-hand corner of the net. Scott was named the Select Sport America-NAIA Championship Outstanding Offensive Player for her effort throughout.
The Cavaliers kept the Westmont defense under siege for the entire 90 minutes, boasting a 24-4 lead in shots, including a game-high five shots by Bobbi Eckler and Ashley Ames, and a 7-1 edge in shots on goal. Concordia also held a 5-1 advantage on corner kicks.
Concordia goalkeeper Olivia Brock made one save en route to her 12th shutout of the season. The clean sheet marks the 18th time in championship final history that the match has ended in a shutout. Junior defender Jasmin Ayala was selected the Select Sport America-NAIA Championship Most Valuable Player and was joined by Scott, Samantha Johnson and Hannah Kimsey on the All-Tournament Team.
Concordia ends the year at 22-1-1 and improves to 26-11-3 all-time at the national championship.
Westmont, who was appearing in its sixth all-time national championship final, falls to 17-2-5 on the season and 30-7-7 all-time in 16 trips to the national championship.
|2013 NAIA Women's Soccer National Championship – All-Tournament Team|
|Matilda Ojaniemi||Northwood (Fla.)||GK||Sr||Kalmar, Sweden|
|Sophie Fuller||Westmont (Calif.)||D||Fr.||Orinda, Calif.|
|Samantha Johnson||Concordia (Ore.)||D||Sr.||Hailey, Idaho|
|Jasmin Ayala||Concordia (Ore.)||D||Jr.||Simi Valley, Calif.|
|Alison Hensley||Westmont (Calif.)||D||Sr.||Huntington Beach, Calif.|
|Natasha Gensetter||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||MF||So.||Hegnau, Switzerland|
|Renee Hurd||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||MF||Sr.||Pensacola, Fla.|
|Hannah Kimsey||Concordia (Ore.)||MF||Sr.||Vancouver, Wash.|
|Tiffany Dimaculangan||Westmont (Calif.)||MF||Jr.||Glendora, Calif.|
|Ayaki Shinada||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||F||Jr.||Nagoya, Japan|
|Megan Daniels||Concordia (Calif.)||F||Jr.||Lake Forest, Calif.|
|Helen Lynskey||Northwood (Fla.)||F||Sr.||Rotherham, England|
|Hannah Scott||Concordia (Ore.)||F||Sr.||Milwaukie, Ore.|
|Select Sport America-NAIA Championship Most Valuable Player|
|Jasmin Ayala, Concordia (Ore.)|
|Select Sport America-NAIA Championship Outstanding Offensive Player|
|Hannah Scott, Concordia (Ore.)|
|Select Sport America-NAIA Championship Outstanding Defensive Player|
|Sophie Fuller, Westmont (Calif.)|
|Champions of Character Select Sport America-NAIA Scholarship Recipient|
|Carly Richardson, Westmont (Calif.)|