California Baptist edges Grand Canyon 1-0 sending BYU-Hawaii to NCAA Tournament
PHOENIX, Ariz. – California Baptist's Kimberly Allard and Chaminade's Twyla Hamasaki scored the lone goals in their respective games on Saturday that helped decide the fate of the fourth and fifth place teams in the Pacific West Conference.
In most conferences these innocuous results at the end of a long regular season would provoke little interest around the soccer world and the media that cover the sport.
But the 2012 PacWest women's soccer season has been anything but innocuous, and the goals by Allard and Hamasaki helped determine the makeup of the NCAA Division II West Regional.
BYU-Hawaii and Grand Canyon entered their games on Saturday tied for fourth place in the PacWest standings with 26 points on identical 8-3-2 records.
Neither team could catch California Baptist, which won the title, nor could the Seasiders or Antelopes reach runner-up Azusa Pacific. Even third-place Point Loma was a stretch.
But all three teams ahead of BYU-Hawaii and Grand Canyon had one thing in common – they are not yet eligible for the NCAA II post-season. The Seasiders and Antelopes were left to fight for the automatic qualifier.
With BYU-Hawaii squaring off against 0-13 Chaminade during the day and the Antelopes facing PacWest Champion California Baptist at night, conventional wisdom saw an easy victory for the Seasiders over the Silverswords and a path to the post-season for BYU-Hawaii.
But the improbable happened when Chaminade took a 1-0 lead on a penalty kick by Hamasaki at 37:30 and then held on through double-overtime for a 1-1 draw with the powerful Seasiders.
Ties generally are not viewed as program milestones, but the Silverswords changed that perception on Saturday in the PacWest thanks to Hamasaki.
Entering the game, Chaminade had produced just three wins and a tie for 10 points in seven years but took a huge leap in their building blocks by forging the 1-1 double-overtime draw with the Seasiders. Lauren Ishii was stellar in net, stopping 16 of 17 shots for the Silverswords.
BYU-Hawaii's Sarah Bodily scored in the 73rd minute to tie the game up.
The tie put the Seasiders one point ahead of Grand Canyon as the Antelopes entered their season-finale vs. the Lancers. The Antelopes needed a win to claim the AQ and a berth in the NCAA post-season.
The game remained scoreless until Allard tallied an unassisted goal at 83:58, ultimately giving the Lancers the victory and sending out a cheer among the BYU-Hawaii faithful who were glued to their computers some 3,000 miles away awaiting the outcome.
The NCAA Division II Women's Soccer Selection show will air this Monday, Nov. 5 at 7:30 pm EST at www.NCAA.com.