#18 Briar Cliff women’s soccer locked-in for first national tournament in program history

Sports

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – The #18 Briar Cliff women’s soccer team got the wake up call they needed in the GPAC tournament.

After the fall season, the Chargers had already clinched their spot to the NAIA national tournament by winning the regular season title. The GPAC tournament wasn’t set to be played until the spring, and in between the end of the regular season and the start of the conference tournament, the Chargers lost head coach Paul Cox, who took a position at NCAA DI Murray State. That led to Briar Cliff hiring former Bishop Heelan girl’s soccer coach Clark Charlestin. So not only was there a layover in between the season and the GPAC tournament, but a new coaching change as well.

At first, it didn’t seem like too much changed for BCU. Briar Cliff defeated #15 Baker in it’s lone preseason match, and defeated Dordt 4-1 in it’s GPAC tournament opener. However, the offense fell flat for the Chargers in the semis, as they fell to fifth seeded Jamestown 1-0.

Briar Cliff says that loss helped spark a fire in them, and has helped them refocus for the NAIA national tournament.

“We felt like we could coast a little bit because we had the national tournament still,” said Chargers junior forward Sonja Roa. “And I think losing to Jamestown definitely was even more fuel for us going into the national tournament.”

“It was a big wake up call,” said Chargers junior forward Taylor Hill. “I think a lot of us got complacent. We can’t do that, especially at this stage, and I think it’s going to motivate us to just go that much harder and further.”

The Chargers open national tournament play in the Spring Arbor, Michigan bracket as the four-team bracket’s three seed, and will face two-seeded Lindsey Wilson in Spring Arbor, MI on Thursday at 4:00.

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