The NCAA Division II Women’s Soccer national championship trophy is coming home to the Point!
PLNU Women’s Soccer defeated Washburn on Saturday in the national title game, 1-0, to win the university’s first NCAA national title in any sport. Emma Thrapp’s header in the 53rd minute off a Grace Nelson corner kick proved to be the difference, as the Sea Lions kept their fifth-straight shutout in the postseason on their way to a first-ever national championship.
Julia Pinnell made three saves in goal to keep Washburn scoreless, as the sophomore goalkeeper did not allow a goal in her last 915 minutes and 35 seconds played in 2023.
The Sea Lions outshot the Ichabods 10-3 in the first half and nearly broke the deadlock on multiple occasions, with Nicki Friedman forcing a diving save and Bethany Arabe nearly beating the goalkeeper at the near post after slithering past a couple defenders.
Pinnell, just as she did in Thursday’s semifinal victory over Florida Tech, made a huge one-v-one save in the first half to keep the game scoreless.
Then in the second half, it didn’t take long for PLNU to take the lead, as Thrapp stepped up to put the Sea Lions in front.
Thrapp, often the team’s corner kick taker, this time left the honors to Nelson, who lofted an inch-perfect cross to the back post for the Second Team All-American to score what proved to be the game-winner.
Her fifth game-winning goal of the season was more than enough, as PLNU lowered its goals against average to 0.52 with a 13th shutout on the year, holding Washburn to just eight shots over 90 minutes.
Thrapp was named the NCAA Championships Most Valuable Player. She was joined on the All-Tournament Team by Pinnell, Arabe and Alana Diaz.
Point Loma (17-3-1 overall) sets a new program record for most wins in a single season in its NCAA era, while finishing the year on an 11-game winning streak, tied for the longest in program history.
Upon their return back to San Diego, the team was greeted with a surprise welcome home celebration from a crowd of PLNU fans, eager to celebrate their success.