THE CHAMPS! Eastern Florida Women’s Soccer Team Wins NJCAA Division I National Championship

Titans defeated Tyler Junior College 1-0 to win the program’s first national title

The Eastern Florida State College women’s soccer team won the NJCAA Division I National Championship title Saturday at Daytona State College. The Titans defeated Tyler Junior College 1-0 to win the program’s first national title and end the Apaches’ two-year reign. Tyler Junior College had won 52 games in a row and beaten the Titans the past three meetings. (EFSC image)

Laura Cetina was named the Offensive Most Valuable Player in the Tournament as the freshman played a key role in the team’s win.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The Eastern Florida State College women’s soccer team won the NJCAA Division I National Championship title Saturday at Daytona State College.

The Titans defeated Tyler Junior College 1-0 to win the program’s first national title and end the Apaches’ two-year reign. Tyler Junior College had won 52 games in a row and beaten the Titans the past three meetings.

But on Saturday the Eastern Florida State College women’s soccer team made history and they did it with some timely offense and a stout defense.

“It is unbelievable, I heard John Wooden once say when asked about winning, the coach with the best players will win and today we had the best players,” Eastern Florida State College women’s soccer coach Scott Carswell said.

“It is unbelievable, I heard John Wooden once say when asked about winning, the coach with the best players will win and today we had the best players,” Eastern Florida State College women’s soccer coach Scott Carswell said. (EFSC image)

The Titans scored the lone goal of the game as Laura Cetina was taken down in the box with 23 minutes left in the first half. Lena Stevens took the penalty kick and scored, giving the Titans a 1-0 lead. It was the first national championship game goal in Titans’ history.

“She has been one of our best penalty kick takers all season and the goalie actually guessed right but Lena made a perfect kick,” Carswell said.

From there the Titans experienced defense took over, not allowing Tyler to get many looks and when they did goalkeeper Marcelle Thedinga made the save, finishing with five saves.

The back line of Lydia Carroll, Marthe Taugbol, Sofie Soerum and Jessica Debiasse kept an offense that came into the game averaging 3.1 goals per game scoreless for the first time in over two years.

“The defense has been tremendous ever since that first game in Utah, they fight for every ball and never give up,” Carswell said. “It was an unbelievable defensive effort today.”

The defense allowed just two goals in the final 10 games and none after the first game of the tournament.

The Titans knew they would have their work cut out for them after dropping the first game of the tournament 1-0 in overtime, but they bounced back with a 2-0 win over Hill College and then beat Seminole State College (OK) 3-0 in the semifinals.

Cetina was named the Offensive Most Valuable Player in the Tournament as the freshman played a key role in the team’s win. Cetina scored twice in the tournament and seven times this season.

The Eastern Florida State College women’s soccer team won the NJCAA Division I National Championship title Saturday at Daytona State College. The Titans defeated Tyler Junior College 1-0 to win the program’s first national title and end the Apaches’ two-year reign. Tyler Junior College had won 52 games in a row and beaten the Titans the past three meetings. (EFSC image)

Holding midfielder Kirsty Woodacre was named the Defensive Most Valuable Player as the freshman from London, England really helped control things in the middle of the field. Woodacre, a natural center defender, started about halfway through the regular season and has become a big part of the defensive scheme.

“It is nice to be recognized but I have to give all the credit to the players first, then the coaching staff and the administration here at Eastern Florida State College – it is a whole team effort and luckily I get to hold up the trophy, but it is a big team effort.” Carswell said. “We asked them to leave everything on the field and I think they did that tonight.”

The national title was the first for an Eastern Florida State College program since the men’s golf team won in 1991 and is the eighth national title in EFSC history. The women’s soccer program has been in 11 straight national tournaments and this was their third appearance in the national championship game but first win.

“Congratulations to all of you, coaches and players, on our first national title in soccer!” Eastern Florida State College President Dr. James Richey told the team by phone afterwards.

“You have shown extraordinary pride in not only your team but to our entire Titan Family! We look forward to celebrating with you on our EFSC campus in the near future, awesome job team!”

The team had a police escort back into Melbourne and finishes the season 10-2-3.

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