Women’s soccer falls one game short of NCCAA semi-finals, Kolster wins third post-season award
Trinity CommunicationsDecember 08, 2017
Originally written by Nathan DeTemple, Digest staff writer.
The TIU women’s soccer team traveled to Kissimmee, Fla. for the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) National Tournament, winning their first game against the Emmanuel University Lions 1-2, but falling 2-0 to the Biola University Eagles in the final game of pool play on Nov. 29.
The Trojans were the No. 4 seed in the tournament. Biola was the No. 3 seed, and went on to win the entire tournament.
The 2017 women’s soccer team finished their season with a record of 14-7-1, and the title of NCCAA North Central Regional Champions.
Against Emmanuel, on Nov. 28, the Trojans fell behind early, surrendering a goal around one and a half minutes into the game. However, sophomore Trinity goalie Rebecca Wells did not surrender another goal for the rest of the game, racking up seven saves in the process.
Nearly four minutes after the half, junior forward Jillian Kolster tied the game, and senior forward Kylie Bowman scored the deciding Trojan goal three minutes later.
Against Biola, Kolster led the Trojans with three shots-on-goal, but the only scoring in the game came for the Eagles in the 23rd and 27th minutes. Wells made twelve saves at her goalie position, only allowing two hits in the net in nearly 79 minutes of play.
Despite going 1-1 in pool play, the Trojan’s effort was a special time for a squad which won eight more games this season than they did last year.
“Being under the lights and feeling like we can win a championship is thrilling,” junior Rachel Conrady said. “It is an experience I will never forget.”
The loss did not immediately eliminate the Trojans from the semi-final round. Because Trinity finished 1-1 in pool play, they had a chance to qualify as the wild-card team in the semi-finals, but they lost tiebreakers to Southwestern Assemblies of God University.
“I thought we showed great resilience in the Emmanuel game after going down 1-0 early and coming back to get a win,” Sports Information Director Ian Gilliam said. “Against Biola I thought we played arguably our best game of the year against one of the top NCAA DII teams in the country.”
In addition to their accomplishments in Florida, Kolster was named NAIA All-American Honorable Mention. This is the third post-season award for Kolster in 2017, being named part of the 1st Team All-CCAC as well as to the NCCAA North Central All-Region team.