The NAIA No. 8 Westmont women’s soccer team clinched a share of the GSAC regular season title with a 6-0 win over Arizona Christian on Senior Day at Thorrington Field.
It’s the first conference title for the Warriors since 2015 and the first for this current group of seniors.
“It feels amazing,” said Westmont senior captain Kira Nemeth. “We haven’t won it the past three years, so it’s truly a blessing to win it my senior year. It’s a dream come true.”
The title is special for coach Jenny Jaggard, who is in her first year at Westmont.C;
“Words don’t really describe it,” she said. “It’s something you dream about and you don’t necessarily think it’s a realistic thing to start your career that way, so I’m super lucky. Obviously there’s a lot of work that’s gone into this behind the scenes and I’m just really proud of the players, because they’re the ones who do the work. They’re super coachable and it’s been a joy to work with them.”
Westmont (13-2-1 overall, 7-1 GSAC) entered the day knowing that if it won, it would at least share the regular season conference title with Vanguard (11-2-2, 7-1).
The Warriors wasted no time to get on the scoreboard. In just the third minute of play, seniors Brooke Porter and Nemeth combined for the team’s opening goal. It was Nemeth’s third goal of the season.
Bri Johnson padded the Warriors’ lead in the 24th minute, scoring her 12th goal of the season off assists from Maddi Berthoud and Katie Stella. In the 45th minute, Isabelle Berthoud joined Johnson in double figures with her 10th goal of the season, giving Westmont a 3-0 halftime lead.
Johnson added her second goal of the game and 13th of the season in the 75th minute, making it her fourth multi-goal game this year. The junior forward scored 10 goals in GSAC regular season play, scoring in seven of the eight games.
Valerie Swisher scored just 1:02 after Johnson, slotting away her second goal of the year after Johnson’s shot was blocked. Reese Davidson finished the scoring for the Warriors in the 80th minute, her third of the season.
As the clock counted down, the Warriors’ bench anxiously waited for the clock to hit 0:00 and erupted when it did, jumping up and down into each other’s arms. The team then snuck up on its head coach and dumped water from a cooler on Jaggard as she was preparing for a live interview on the Westmont Sports Network.
The win was particularly sweet for Porter, also a team captain, who missed her first three seasons at Westmont due to injury.
“It’s surreal and I still can’t believe it’s happening,” said Porter. “At the end of the day, there’s something special with this group of women and it has been such a joy to be a part of it. These last three years were rough, but it’s brought me here. It makes this moment so much sweeter for me and I’m so proud of my teammates.”
By virtue of its 3-0 win over Vanguard on Oct. 12, Westmont will have the number one seed in the upcoming GSAC Tournament and will host the semifinals and finals on Nov. 14 and 16.