The Carroll women’s soccer team ended the 2016 regular season at 11-3-3 overall and 8-0-3 in Cascade play.
“We did not luck out on some of the ties that we had,” Senior Center-back Brittany Girolami said. “We could have won a couple more that we tied.”
The Lady Saints split the regular season conference title with Southern Oregon. Carroll earned the No. 1 seed in the tourney because of their 1-0 win over the Raiders on Oct. 21. However, the top seed’s biggest advantage is its automatic berth in the NAIA national tournament.
“You might be a little more cautious of injuries and those types of things,” Carroll Coach David Thorvilson said. “Obviously, you don’t have to try to gamble as much to try to win a game.”
Travel was an issue this season. Carroll played seven road conference games to just four at home, so Coach Thorvilson tweaked his practice schedule to guard against mental and physical fatigue.
“You spend a long time on the bus,” Thorvilson said, “and getting off the bus and trying to practice the next day can be difficult.”
So far, Carroll’s logged over 3500 miles, and they hope to travel another 2,100 to play in the championship round of the national tournament in Orange Beach, Ala.
“That’s been our goal since day one,” Sophomore Outside Forward Payton Netz said. “I think all of us are pretty set on going to Alabama this year.”
But, before Nationals, they’ll defend their Cascade tournament title in Springfield, Oregon this weekend.