FOLEY, Ala — Arizona Western women's soccer will embark into uncharted territory on Monday evening in its first-ever NJCAA Division I tournament appearance in Foley, Alabama.
The Matadors finished the regular season 21-1 and they won the first 21 games of the season. That mark led the team to an at-large bid in the national tournament, which is the program's first in its six-year history.
AWC earned the 4th overall seed in the tournament, which puts it as the highest in its group making it the prohibitive favorite to win the group. The top team in the group of three teams will advance to the semifinals on Friday evening.
The Mats will open with 11 seed, Laramie County (WY) (11-6 NJCAA) on Monday evening (8:30 p.m. EST). Laramie County will be led by sophomore forward Taylor Stoeger (nine goals and 10 assists). They have five players with five goals or more this season.
Laramie County might be one of the hottest teams in the tournament, winning nine out of the last 11 games coming into the opener. It has made the semifinals as recently at 2016.
The second game will be against thee 5 seed, Eastern Florida State (14-2-1) on Wednesday (8:30 p.m. EST). EFST has won six games in a row coming into the tournament.
Sophomore midfielder Cristina Garriaga led EFST with 11 goals and 10 assists this season. They have four players with at least six goals this season.
Eastern Florida State made the semifinals last season and lost in the national title game in 2015
Eastern Florida State beat Laramie County 6-1 on Aug. 24.
AWC is 2-1 against teams in this season’s field (all three games coming against 10 seed Paradise Valley).
The Matadors reached the top ranking in the country before falling to Paradise Valley in the Region I finals. They will be led by sophomore forward Christiana Boateng (26 goals and 10 assists), sophomore midfielder Cato Hom (nine goals), freshman forward Asare Vera (eight goals and nine assists) and sophomore goalie Cyan Scott, who has only allowed eight goals all season.