Despite the pouring rain, Corban women’s soccer standout Emily Tsugawa flies across the soccer field kicking the cold mud and water onto her already drenched uniform.
Her eyes are on the focused on the black and white ball, but she is keenly aware of her teammates who jockey for positions, waiting for the sophomore to make her move. Once she makes her decision, her opponents are outpaced and out moved, allowing Tsugawa to strike and send the ball hurling into the net to earn another Warrior victory.
When her team does battle again on Sat. Nov. 13, the stakes will be the highest this season. For the eighth time since 1996, the Corban's women's soccer team will step onto the field to face the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics No. 1-ranked Concordia with the Cascade Collegiate Conference tournament title on the line.
The match up that is scheduled to kick off from Delta Park in Portland at 7 p.m. It will be the first time since 2004 that the Warriors and Cavaliers have battled with a chance to advance in the playoffs on the line. The conference tournament champion will earn an automatic berth into the 32-team field and a chance to win the national title.
Last weekend, Corban earned its spot in the championship game thanks to a 1-0 victory over Southern Oregon with freshman Tera McDonough scoring the only goal in the 48th minute off an assist from fellow freshman Audrey Sullivan.
The women Warriors are riding a six-game winning streak and carry a program-best 16-3-0 record. They look to end Concordia's 19-game unbeaten streak (17-0-2) and hand the Cavaliers their first loss this year although it likely won’t come without a fight.
In playoff history, Corban has never beaten Concordia in 11 attempts and has been outscored by 30 goals (35-5). The Warriors have not netted a post season goal against the Cavaliers since 2002, as then-Western Baptist fell in the NAIA Region I semifinals, 4-1.
Saturday's championship game will feature a pair of teams ranked in the NAIA's Top 35, as Concordia remained as the No. 1-ranked team in the country in this week's poll with Corban moving up one spot to No. 32.
For more information about Corban women’s soccer visit www.gowarriorsgo.com