Westmont Magazine Women's Soccer Back on Top
The Westmont women’s soccer team began the season ranked third in the NAIA, and head coach Mike Giuliano considered them “the most offensively loaded team I have ever coached.” They outscored opponents 63-10 during the season, finishing 15-3.
But a 1-0 overtime loss to California Baptist in the NAIA regional playoffs threatened to end their season without a sixth straight trip to the national tournament. However, they received one of two at-large bids to the tournament.
Once there, the team won four games to capture their third national championship, the second in three years. After defeating their first two opponents by a combined eight goals, Westmont upset top-seeded Lindsey Wilson in double overtime.
The team completed its run the next day, winning an ugly game over Oklahoma City 1-0 to gain the national title. “We played three of our best games of the year in the first three matches of the tournament, but tonight was just about fighting through and getting the job done,” said Giuliano. “The coach in me is not happy about the way we played, but I’m obviously thrilled with the result.”
Four players received All-American honors. Karin Sullivan, the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, was named to the first team. Senior Adrienne Allen made the second team, and senior Emily Blackerby and junior Janel Kaden appeared on the third.
Westmont is tied with three other schools for the most titles in the 18-year history of NAIA women’s soccer.
Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams posted top-25 finishes at the NAIA National Championships in Kenosha, Wis. The women’s squad came in 21st, while the men finished 22nd.
The women’s volleyball team ended the season 20-7, third in the GSAC and ranked 10th in the nation. They earned an at-large bid to the NAIA national tournament where they lost in pool play.
The men’s soccer team used a strong run at the end of the season to claim their 11th GSAC crown and achieve a #5 ranking in the last poll. Despite hosting the first round of regional playoffs and outplaying their opponent, they lost to Alliant International 1-0 and ended the year without a trip to the national playoffs. Junior Mark Oehlman was named GSAC Co-Player of the Year and an NAIA All-American.
The men’s basketball team ended the regular season19-8, second in the GSAC. Their strong finish was due to a 12-game winning streak and a sweep of #12 Azusa Pacific. The Warriors moved into the national rankings at 21st. They lost to #2 Biola by one point. Juniors Chris Clark and Mitch Pierce were named to the all-GSAC first team.
The women’s team had its ups and downs, playing several nationally ranked teams to a near draw and upsetting two others in the GSAC: the Master’s College and Fresno Pacific. They also received their first-ever national ranking this year, but have struggled after a season-ending knee injury to all-GSAC performer Becky Gibb. Sophomore Katie Hardeman was also named to the first team. The Warriors ended the regular season 17-12, tied for fifth in the GSAC.