Women’s soccer wins NCCAA Regional Championships, moves to Nationals
Trinity CommunicationsNovember 20, 2017
The women’s soccer team beat University of Midwestern (Minn.) last Wednesday, Nov. 15 3-0 during the NCCAA (National Christian College Athletes Association) North Central Regional Championship. The Trojans are now moving onto nationals, held in Kissimmee, Fl. from Nov. 27–Dec. 2, where they will face the Emmanuel College Lions and Biola University (Calif.) Eagles to fight for a place in the top 4, ultimately aiming for the national title.
TIU last went to NCCAA Nationals in 2011, where the women’s team took second against California Baptist University. Since then, the team has changed with new students while still under the leadership of Head Coach Patrick Gilliam and Associate Coach Kelvin Tohme. During Gilliam’s time as coach, the women’s team has won NCCAA Nationals twice, in 1998 and in 2004.
In addition to this regional victory, three players on this year’s women’s soccer team were named to the CCAC All-Conference Team: Jill Kolster, Heather Ortiz and Rachel Conrady.
Although Trinity’s main affiliation is with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes (NAIA), the university has participated in the NCCAA for the better part of two decades, Tohme said. The work that goes into preparing for the NCCAA finals is the same as would be required for the NAIA finals. Now, as the team progresses into post-season, Tohme believes this championship will be a good opportunity for this year’s team.
“We have a young team,” Tohme said. “Providing them an opportunity to extend their season participating at the NCCAA National Tournament will allow them to spend more time bonding together and give them invaluable experience in a post-season playoff environment.”
The team will be leaving at noon, after practice, on Saturday, Nov. 25 to head for Florida.