“Still a little in shock”: CNU women’s football wins its first national championship


NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – The CNU women’s football team made history Saturday by winning the college’s first-ever NCAA tournament title with a 2-0 victory over College of New Jersey , the first.

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“Still a little shocked that this moment has happened,” said head coach Jamie Gunderson. “I’m really proud of this group and the way they’ve handled this season. We knew it would be a tough game against TCNJ today after playing a tough game yesterday. We came up with our game plan and the girls stayed with it and once again they have performed like they have done day in and day out this season. I’m so happy for them to experience this and to have our first national championship for our program.

The team ended their season unbeaten by winning the 2021 NCAA Division III Women’s National Soccer Championship in Greensboro, NC. Their victory gave CNU the 13e general team championship and first in a team sport in brackets.

The women were just the second team to beat TCNJ’s squad which has been ranked No.1 in United’s Top 25 Coaching United since week two of the season.

Fifth-year senior Riley Cook got an assist on the match winner and scored another goal. She also scored seven of CNU’s nine goals in the 6-0 playoff streak and added an assist for a 15-point tournament.

Cook was named the 2021 NCAA Tournament MVP, equaling the most points scored in a single player tournament since 2011.

Junior center-back Jill McDonald honored as tournament’s most outstanding defensive player

Senior Sarah Smith scored the match winner on a corner kick from Cook, and then the all-time top scorer stepped in to complete the insurance tally for CNU.

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