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Soccer

Haley Parzonko’s Goal is Enough for Westmont Women’s Soccer to Advance to NAIA Quarterfinals

Haley Parzonko scored the lone goal and the Westmont defense made it stand up in a 1-0 win over Columbia (Mo.) in a second-round game of the NAIA Women's National Soccer Championship in Orange Beach, Ala., on Tuesday.

The Warriors (16-3-2) advance to a quarterfinal match against second-seeded Spring Arbor, Mich., on Wednesday.

The Warriors were able to disrupt Columbia and eventually broke through the Cougars’ defense. It all started in the 31st minute when Savannah Scott took a corner kick for the Warriors. As she served the ball into the box, it was knocked around before popping out to Parzonko. She quickly got a shot off and the ball found its way to the back right corner of the net. 

 “I was watching Destinee (Adams) just pin-poke the ball slowly forward as she was winning tackles,"Parzonko said. "I was thinking I just have to try to get in there to shoot for her. The opportunity just opened up for me. It was one of those moments when you blink and it’s in the back of the net.” 

Said Westmont coach Chantel Cappuccilli: “I think that goal was a moment where we scrapped and fought and came out on the other end. That was a big moment for Haylee to put that away for us. In this setting, especially as you get to the lower numbers, the opportunities come fewer and farther between. Our ability to put that away was crucial.”

The Warrior defense proved to be pivotal in the victory.

“I think that by cutting off passing lanes, anticipating early and being dynamic within our movement on and off the ball, we didn’t allow Columbia to get in a rhythm in that opening half. I think it was a little bit of a chase for them in the second half,” said Cappuccilli.

Westmont had a chance to add on to their lead in the 66th minute when Jackie Lopez ripped a shot that was destined for the top right corner of the goal. But Columbia keeper Madison Boyken dove and punched the ball over the crossbar keeping the score 1-0.

Westmont now has to prepare for a battle against Spring Arbor.

“We tried to get some girls off today and give them a little rest," Cappuccilli said. "They have to be ready to go again tomorrow. I think every single player has to be ready to go every game – that’s the way we coach. We emphasize that a win takes all of them, and that all of them play a role in different ways.

“I think the reality is that when you’re in a national tournament you might not have a routine. It’s more important that you’re adaptable to the schedule and to the amount of recovery that you have. You just win, advance, prepare, and go again. It’s time to fight again tomorrow.”

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