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California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

Regals Soccer wins NCAA National Championship

Photo contributed by Izzy De Souza
The Regals soccer team celebrates its first NCAA National Championship.

California Lutheran University’s Regals soccer team won the NCAA Division III National Championship for the first time in program history, defeating No.2 ranked Washington University with a score of 1-0. 

The Regals are the first unranked team in history to have made it to the NCAA National Championship, and their Championship win is the first earned by a team in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Playing in the final game of her collegiate career, graduate forward Isabella Veljacic scored the game’s only goal in the 17th minute. The goal marked her 10th goal of the season, and helped her earn Most Outstanding Offensive Player of the tournament.

“I’ve worked my entire career for moments like this, and to put the ball in the back of the net for my team on the biggest stage in college soccer, DIII college soccer, is incredible,” Veljacic said.

Head Women’s Soccer Coach Frank Marino said he is very proud of his team for not only coming this far and winning it all, but also for stepping up in key moments. Marino said there were a number of key players who were injured.

“We didn’t know who could play before the game. We were scrambling. You know, players got hurt in the last game, we’re talking three All-Conference players, two All-Region players that are unavailable literally 15 minutes before the game,” Marino said.

Graduate student Eden Quiroz, who won Most Outstanding Defensive Player of the tournament, has traditionally been a center midfielder. However, she stepped in to play center back, and was able to help keep Washington University at bay for the entire game. 

“I just feel like, our team, I just can rely on them…I’ve played that position actually at my old school, and so this is something that, it’s not foreign to me, and I think that being on a national stage, like, I had to step up big today,” Quiroz said. 

The Regals finished the 2023 season with an overall record of 19-1-6, and a conference record of 9-0-3.

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