Women’s Soccer Wins CACC Championship; Secure Auto bid to NCAA Division II Tournament
LAKEWOOD, N.J.- Caldwell University women’s soccer won their second Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Championship in four seasons as they defeated top seed Georgian Court University 1-0 on Sunday morning. The Cougars secure the CACC auto bid to the NCAA Division II Championship and were selected as the #6 seed. Caldwell faces #3 seed LIU Post on Friday, November 11 at 2 pm on the campus of #2 seed Adelphi University.
The Cougars improve to 12-7-2 on the season, while the Lions season ends at 14-5-1.
Caldwell got the lone goal of the contest midway through the opening half as sophomore Emily Valerian (Roseland, N.J.) took a feed from senior Jessica Garretson (Atco, N.J.) dribbled past the defense and blasted it to the opposite side of the goal for a 1-0 Cougars lead.
The Cougars played solid defense through the contest despite being outshot in the game 18-8. The Lions created some opportunities late in the contest but CACC Tournament MVP Kylie Whalen (Hazlet, N.J.) was up to the task, turning back shots to preserve the lead for Caldwell.
Following the game, the Cougars earned five spots on the all-tournament team with Garretson, Valerian, Whalen, sophomore Jessica LaConde (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and sophomore Gianna Klucker (Tamins, Switzerland) taking top honors for the Cougars. With three tournament victories that included two shutouts, Whalen was named the tournament Most Valuable Player. Whalen also made two crucial shootout saves in the semifinals shootout victory against Holy Family University that allowed Caldwell a shot at Sunday’s championship game. Whalen posted six saves in the championship victory which was her sixth shutout of the season.
Head Coach Nate Guagliardi, in his tenth season with the Cougars, has taken three of his last four squads to the CACC Championship game. Guagliardi led the Cougars to their first CACC Championship and first-ever NCAA Division II Tournament bid in 2013. The Cougars fell in the championship game to Philadelphia University last season and took home the crown in 2016.