‘Still kind of in shock’: CNU women’s soccer wins first national championship

Newport News

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — The CNU women’s soccer team made history on Saturday, winning their first NCAA Tournament with a 2-0 win over the top-ranked College of New Jersey.

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“Still kind of in shock that this moment happened,” said head coach Jamie Gunderson. “I’m just really proud of this group and how they handled this season. We knew it would be a tough matchup against TCNJ today after playing a tough matchup yesterday. We came in with our gameplan and the girls stuck with it and again they executed like they have day in and day out this season. I’m so happy for them to experience this and have our first national championship for our program.”

The win in Greensboro, North Carolina, capped an undefeated season and gave CNU its 13th overall team championship and first in a bracketed team sport.

The women were just the second team to beat TCNJ’s team, which has been ranked No. 1 in the United Soccer Coaches Top-25 since the second week of the season.

Fifth-year senior Riley Cook had an assist on the game-winner and scored another goal. She also scored seven of the nine CNU goals scored in the 6-0 run through the postseason and added an assist for a 15-point tournament.

Cook was named the 2021 NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Offensive Player, matching the most points scored in a tournament by a single player since 2011.

Junior center back Jill McDonald was honored as the tournament’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player

Senior Sarah Smith scored the game-winner on a corner kick taken by Cook and then the all-time leading scorer stepped up to the spot to finish the insurance tally for CNU.

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