The No. 2 Trinity women’s soccer team came into this season with high expectations and, so far, are on track to achieve all of their goals. They have made it to the Final Four round for the first time since the 2002 season. This national semifinal trip is only the third in the school’s history.
The road to the Final Four went through San Antonio for the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight matches against No. 5 Montclair State (NJ) and No. 4 Wheaton (Ill.)
“We played wonderful soccer and I am extremely proud of our achievement and hope to continue our winning momentum,” said assistant coach Owen Collie.
The joy is understandable after making the Final Four for the first time in 11 years, but the team is not done yet, as they have their sights and hopes set on a National Championship.
“We know the upcoming match will be intense, physical, competitive, and we can’t wait to go out there and play. The coaches have been getting us into our normal practice routine, and the team has been focused on getting the most out of each session. The team feels overwhelmingly positive about the Final Four””honored to be a part of it, proud of our accomplishments so far, excited to go play,” said senior defender Jenni White.
In the Sweet Sixteen game on Nov. 22, Trinity came up against Montclair State and gave a dominating performance, taking a 2-0 lead behind a goal from first-year midfielder Yasmeen Farra and an early second half stunner from outside eighteen yards from junior midfielder Kelsey Falcone.
Trinity conceded one late goal, but was able to easily hold on to the win and advance to the Elite Eight.
In the Elite Eight round on Nov. 23, the second-ranked Trinity Tigers faced the fourth-ranked Wheaton College. A fairly even start led to Wheaton taking a 1-0 lead midway through the first half, but Trinity was not interested in being behind, as they quickly equalized through junior midfielder Hannah Kuhl with a strike from the right into the far corner. Junior midfielder Emily Jorgens assisted on Kuhl’s goal, putting her at 29 assists on the season, one shy of the NCAA single-season record.
“I am especially proud of the resilience we showed after going a goal down against Wheaton. I think as a team, we had confidence in ourselves and knew we would bounce back,” Falcone said.
After a hard-fought second half, Trinity eventually got the winner in the 72nd minute. Sophomore midfielder Kimberly Polasek put one in the back of the net after she cut past a defender and placed a finish past the keeper to the far post.
The win improved the Tigers’ record to 24-0-2 on the season.
Trinity plays their first Final Four match at 2:30 p.m. today against No. 13 Middlebury College (Conn.) at Toyota Field in San Antonio. Trinity is co-hosting the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Soccer Championships with San Antonio Sports for the fifth straight year. The president of the university has arranged for buses to transport students, faculty and staff to Toyota Field from Trinity for the game. Faculty members with classes at that time have the option to make alternative class arrangements as well. Should Trinity win in the semifinals, the Tigers will face the winner of Capital University and No. 3 William Smith College tomorrow at 1:30 p.m for the national championship. The Tigers have never won a women’s soccer national championship.