Women’s soccer upsets #1 team in the NAIA

Kiani Hildebrandt, Staff Writer

Westmont women’s soccer is having a phenomenal start to the season. After this past week in Georgia, the women are 6-1-1. They had the game of their lives this past Thursday when they beat the #1 team in the NAIA, William Carey (Miss.). At the Georgia Gwinnett Grizzly Classic, a tournament of all nationally ranked teams, Westmont also did well in coming back on Saturday to tie Mobile (Ala.), the #15 team in the nation, 1-1. Westmont is currently ranked #22, but after this past week that number will go up.

On Thursday, led by junior forward Bri Johnson’s two goals, the women’s team won 3-0 against the talented William Carey team.

“We decided to try and press them,” said new head coach Jenny Jaggard. “The press was working and we were winning the ball. We had the majority
of the possession today.”

Junior goalkeeper Gabi Haw and the defense had the opposing offenses under control. “This past week was the first time all season that everyone played for each other,” said Haw. “Not one single girl on the field was playing for herself. It was so evident by the intensity and drive that was seen in each game.”

This past weekend has instilled hope and given a stronger resolve to the Westmont women soccer players. “Honestly if we keep playing like we did in Georgia, we will end up in the national finals holding up a trophy,” continued Haw. “I do not say that with hope, but certainty.”

Senior defender Kira Nemeth said, “I think our biggest takeaway from this past week is our newfound confidence. After this past week, we proved to ourselves that we have what it takes to go all the way and
win a national title.”

Against Mobile this past Saturday, Westmont tied 1-1. A handball by a Westmont player allowed the opposing team to score on a penalty kick. Junior midfielder Izzy Berthoud, who also scored against William Carey, scored the Warriors’ lone goal against Mobile to tie
the game in the 83rd minute.

“Saturday we were fatigued, but again the passion of the field was unmatchable,” said Haw. “I could not be more proud of every girl who has contributed to our success this past weekend, and cannot wait to see what is next.”

With Golden State Athletic Conference games right around the corner, this newfound confidence is something the women can carry forward with them. “We obviously have more work to do, but we definitely have what it takes,” said Nemeth.

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