Women's soccer makes NCAA national tourney
The women’s soccer team capped off a brilliant season by winning the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament and playing in the NCAA Division III national championship, both for the first time in the program’s history.
The Pioneers finished the season with a sparkling 16-2 record, including a perfect 8-0 in the HCAC to claim the regular season title. They won 11 straight matches to begin the season, and closed the year with a five-game win streak before losing in the NCAA meet. It was the best season since the 1999 team won 23 straight games, only to lose in the championship game of the NAIA tournament.
Transy’s only regular-season defeat came in a 1-0 contest with Elmhurst College. The Pioneers downed Manchester College 2-1 and the College of Mount St. Joseph 3-1 to capture the Heartland tourney crown, then lost to Denison College 2-0 in the NCAAs.
Third-year head coach Michael Fulton, now 38-14-5 at Transy, was named Coach of the Year in the HCAC.
“Winning the conference and qualifying for the NCAA tournament has established a precedent for our program,” Fulton said. “I’m thrilled at the progress we’ve made in such a short time. We have a great bunch of student-athletes who are willing to work hard, and an experienced staff.”
Fulton was philosophical about the disappointing loss to Denison in the NCAA’s first round. “It was a good learning experience for us,” he said. “Being able to compare ourselves with the top teams and the experience that comes with the loss will help make us better.”
Five Pioneers were named to the All-HCAC first team, led by senior defender Elizabeth Poindexter. Also honored were junior goalkeeper Ally Tucker, sophomore forward Brittany Farris, and first-year midfielders Katie Kelly and Kate McKelway. Kelly was also an HCAC Player of the Week, as was junior forward Brittany MacGregor.
|First-year midfielder Katie Kelly battles for the ball.||Junior goalkeeper Ally Tucker makes another save.|