The women’s soccer team enjoyed a successful weekend in which they won the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) title. Because they earned the No. 1 seed, play for the team began on Saturday. The Tigers were given the opportunity to compete at home at the Paul McGinlay Field, where they excelled in front of a supportive crowd.
The team captured their first win of the tournament with a decisive 5–0 shutout victory against Schreiner University. During this game, senior Chelsea Cole and sophomore Abby Blackwood scored twice, while senior Halleanne Dure scored once. Sophomore goalkeeper Paige Wallace recorded a notable save in the second half to maintain Trinity’s clean sheet game.
Wallace notes that the team’s preparation for the game put them in the right mindset to compete.
“Leading up to the weekend, we had a great week of practice with a lot of intense sessions that had us shooting on goal. The Friday night before our game, we got together and had a team dinner that was provided by our coaches. The experience really helped us stay focused on the weekend ahead of us,” Wallace said.
Following their semifinal victory, Trinity faced Southwestern University in the championship match. In the game’s 25th minute, Chelsea Cole scored the game-winning goal after a corner kick from sophomore Lindsey Peng.
Going into the kick, Peng had full confidence in her teammates.
“In the moment, I just really wanted someone to put the ball in the net. We have scored a decent amount off of set pieces this year, so I knew we were capable of doing it again. I knew I needed to my job and put a good ball in, and I had faith in my teammates that they would do their jobs, too. I was hoping someone would finish it, and Chelsea did,” Peng said.
Chelsea Cole recognized the importance of the moment and capitalized on her opportunity.
“We had a few chances before that but didn’t put any of them away. Games are often decided on set pieces, so I knew I needed to take advantage of the corner. A few of my teammates made runs ahead of me, which allowed the ball to go over the heads of the defenders and throw off the keeper a bit. I made the back post run and was able to get a good angle on the ball to direct it into the goal,” Cole said.
Despite strong offensive pushes by both teams, neither was able to score in the second half, resulting in the Tigers capturing the championship with a 1–0 victory.
The tournament victory marked the 10th consecutive SCAC title for the women’s soccer team. For their outstanding performances over the weekend, Cole was named the SCAC Tournament Offensive Most Valuable Player and Peng was named the SCAC Tournament Defensive Most Valuable Player. These awards are in addition to Cole’s five SCAC Women’s Offensive Player of the Week titles and Peng’s SCAC Women’s Defensive Player of the Week title from regular season play.
Cole gives the credit of these awards to her teammates.
“Honestly, I believe those awards are team awards. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do and score goals without the rest of my teammates. Everyone works hard all over the field, and my job is to finish on the opportunities that come from that hard work. I love being able to do that, but it is really a reflection of all the hard work going on around me,” Cole said.
For the rest of the postseason, the Tigers are looking to extend Trinity’s current 15-game win streak even further.
“Our team takes every chance to play very seriously, so we spend each week of practice pushing each other to be the best we can. Our mindset of constantly motivating each other is a big factor in our winning streak. We’re just going to keep training hard at practice everyday. The pressure of knowing that any of these games could be our last is really going to push us to work as hard as possible,” Wallace said.
The Tigers are also hoping to use the momentum from their conference victory to stay fired up in their next game.
“Using some of the energy we generated this weekend will keep us excited for what is next. Playing for something when a lot is on the line is stressful, but it also makes for a lot of good soccer and quite a bit of fun. We have had a good season thus far, and I think we know we are good enough and will be prepared enough to take on whoever comes next,” Peng said.
On Saturday, Nov. 10, the Trinity women’s soccer team will compete against Occidental College in the first round of the NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer Championship at Hardin-Simmons University.