Lily Rainey's (#11) soccer team won a “wild card” berth to the NAIA National College Soccer tournament and played their first game against #9th ranked Simon Frazier of British Columbia – They flew up north and competed in the cold Northwest where they won 1 – 0. That win meant that the girls got to compete in Alabama along with the top 16 teams at the national championship tournament.
Their first game was against #7 ranked Vanguard University – Vanguard competes in the same conference and had beaten the team twice in the season – The girls were determined to win and win they did – a big 6-1!
When they were up against their biggest challenge yet – the #1 nationally ranked Lindsey Wilson of Kentucky– the conditions were wet, cold and muddy and once again the girls came out on top with a 2-0 win! That was the biggest surprise of all as they all had return travel arrangements for the next day! Never thinking they would get that far, even the college booked the girls home after that game - so what an exciting turn of events!
They were off to the semi finals and their next game was against #4 ranked Cougars of Azusa Pacific University. The game was very close with a 0-0 tie after two 10 minute overtimes in freezing temperatures. They advanced to penalty kicks and the goalie (who is the #1 goalie in the nation and an all American) saved two shots and advanced them to the National Championship finals!
The local paper headlines read “Cinderella Team Point Loma heads to the National Championship finals”! What an amazing experience for the girls. Lots of locals came out to cheer on the underdogs – but this Cinderella team needed to dump the glass slippers for some rocket shoes to keep up with the defending champions #2 ranked Lee of Tennessee! They were absolutely amazing and the fairytale ended in the championship game with a 2-0 loss… there were almost no tears shed because the girls got so much further than anyone ever imagined, had experienced the best times and would never forget their Alabama experience!