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NCAA Division II Soccer Finals: Charleston, Grand Valley St claim National titles


Highmark Stadium | Pittsburgh, PA

NCAA Division II Women’s National Championship Game:

FINAL: Charleston 2, Cal St LA 0  BOX SCORE

NCAA Division II Women’s National Championship Game:

FINAL: Grand Valley State 1, Western Washington 0 (2OT)  BOX SCORE


Match Day Updates

Here’s my full recap of Charleston’s win, written for Charleston (WV) Gazette Mail.

5:20 – 88′ | An absolute blast by the end line getting it on frame coming from Cal State LA’s David Elizaga is turned away by Charleston’s GK Dean, who made a quick reaction to keep the clean sheet.

5:10 –

That second goal by Tracey brings his team leading total to 13 for the season, but boy that was a beautiful, build-up by a well-orchestrated attack that was completely in-sync. They’ve been sharp all day and finally capitalized.

5:05 – GOAL – CHARLESTON – 2-0

Freddy Tracey with the brace. What a build-up by Charleston! After a turnover a midfield, connected seven passes to the left width, and finally convert a cross in from Adam Robinson (I believe). 74′

4:46 – Best chance of 2nd half for Cal St. LA.

4:21 –

Halftime stats of note/takeaways:

  • Shots: UC 9-1 (1-0 on goal)
  • Only save of match came from UC’s Dean in 36′
  • Both dangerous goal scoring chances came from bouncing balls off wet turf.
  • UC’s been better in the midfield/possession.
  • CSLA struggling w/ final pass in attacking third.

4:15 – HALF

4:00 – What a sequence! Cal St LA nearly equalizes.

3:32 – GOAL – Charleston – 1-0 (9′)

Freddy Tracey converges on Cal St LA’s keeper Alexander Brems, and wins the loose ball near the top of the box, gets behind and taps the ball in for the early Charleston 1-0 lead.  It was a long ball played over the top to the right side of the box, and Brems was trying to secure it, but Tracey got a foot on it, and took advantage of the keeper’s mistake.

3:20 – Men’s final has kicked off

Here’s the recap of the women’s match:

2:35 – The men’s game will likely now start a bit later — closer to 3:15/3:20 to make sure there’s enough time for warm-ups/etc.

2:30 –  GOLDEN GOALLLLLLLL!!! Gianna Parlove bangs it in! Lakers win! Lakers win! For the SIXTH TIME The Lakers are National Champions!

2:17 – After 1OT, neither GVSU nor Western Washington have scored. They now go to 2OT, with golden goal in effect; next goal wins.

2:00 – GOING TO OT! Still scoreless.

1:35 – 65′ | Still scoreless

1:05 – second half has kicked off

12:35 – 23′ | 0-0 | GVSU’s Baron with a nice step in the box and fires just left of the goal.

12:28 –  A PK miss for GVSU…

12:02 p.m. – The women’s final has kicked off.

10 a.m. – Here’s a nice piece from Mark Goodman from Thursday.

DII women’s soccer championship: Finals preview

Grand Valley State
The Lakers are the benchmark of DII women’s soccer. Grand Valley State entered the season having appeared in eight of the last ten national championships, winning five. Now they head to No. 1 since 2009.

This year, the Lakers defense was on top of its game in record-setting fashion. That stingy defense went 9-0 in GLIAC play and didn’t allow a single goal in conference play, the first team in conference history to do so. Jessica Radice has been remarkable in net and Cec Steinwascher is tough on defense.

Offensively, well, take your pick. You either need to try and shut down Ava Cook who led DII in goals or shut down the D2CCA player of the year Riko Sagara. And that’s the trouble with GVSU, there’s just so many athletic weapons, that if you do shut down Cook and Sagara, there’s someone else lurking in the wings.

Western Washington
If there is a defense in DII women’s soccer capable of thwarting that Grand Valley State offense, it is the Vikings. After all, they’ve done it before, winning the 2016 national championship over the Lakers 3-2.

Natalie Dierickx had a big game in the semifinals with some key saves in delivering the Vikings 18th shutout of the season, setting a program record. On the year, she has a 0.35 goals against average with 13 shutouts of her own.

The Vikings use a full arsenal on offense, which makes it hard to key in on one player. While they don’t have a scorer close to Cook’s numbers, six Vikings — Grace Eversaul, Karli White, Liv Larson, Zoe Milburn, Estera Levinte, and Jenna Killman — have scored at least five goals. White had a big semifinal match, assisting on the Vikings first goal and putting some insurance on the board with a late goal in the 40th minute.

The DII men’s soccer championship finals: What to know about each team

Here’s John Krysinsky’s National Championship Game Preview/Friday features for Charelston (WV) Gazette Mail

Cal State LA
The Golden Eagles are the last remaining team without a loss in the 2019 season. Cal State LA moved to 19-0-3 in its semifinals victory over UIndy. That helped the Golden Eagles reach their first national championship match since 1981. They are looking for the program’s first title.

It will have to rely on that defense against Charleston (WV)’s high-fueled offense. Cal State LA’s defense posted its 15th shutout of the year in the semifinals, lowering its goals against average to a minuscule 0.35. Fun fact: The defense is anchored by twins Jose and Jorge Orellana. Keeper Alex Brehms has allowed just eight goals all year.

Offensively, Cal State LA is led by five players with six or more goals. Tim Klefisch leads all Golden Eagles with eight goals and secured the win with a late goal in the semifinals.

John Krysinsky’s semifinal game report for Charleston (WV) Gazette Mail:

Charleston (WV)
The other Golden Eagles are no stranger to the championship match. Charleston has been to the championship match three times in the past five years, finally breaking through with their first title in 2017 over Lynn. The same Lynn team it lost to in the 2014 national championship game, and the same Lynn team it defeated to reach this point.

Charleston is the second-best scoring offense in DII men’s soccer, so that Cal State LA defense will be put to the test. Charleston puts up 3.54 goals per night. Ettore Ballestracci leads the way, coming off a tremendous semifinals in which he assisted on two goals and scored another. Both Freddy Tracey and Gabriel Rodriguez have scored more than ten goals this season as well.

There is only one defense better than Cal State LA in DII men’s soccer and that is Charleston. They allow just 0.33 goals per night. Alvaro Dean took over in net in late September and has been smooth sailing of late. He’s allowed just one goal in his past seven starts.

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

Glory on the Grass

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Riverhounds MF Kenardo Forbes

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