Alaskans set for NCAA Tournament (Soccer)
As many as seven Alaska women will be shooting for the ultimate prize in college soccer when the national championships begin Friday.
Leading the way is University of Denver goalkeeper Lara Campbell of Anchorage. She is a major reason why the 17-5-1 Pioneers won the Sun Belt Conference title.
Denver plays No. 2 seed Portland (18-1) in the first round.
Campbell, of Alaska Rush fame, helped Denver win all three tournament matches with a 7-1 aggregate. She has allowed just one goal in her last four starts and finished the regular season with a 15-3-1 record and nine shutouts.
At the University of Southern California, Anchorage’s Carly Butcher is a starting midfielder who is tied for the team lead in assists with five.
The Women of Troy (12-6-2) play Oklahoma State in the opening round.
Butcher, of South High fame, has started 18 of 20 matches, scoring one goal and firing 11 shots on goal.
USC is the 2007 NCAA champion.
At the University of Wisconsin, Eagle River twins Alev Kelter and Derya Kelter are freshman midfielders for a squad that is red hot, bringing a seven-match unbeaten streak into the postseason.
The Badgers are making their first NCAA appearance since 2005 and open against Arizona in the first round.
Alev Kelter, of Chugiak High fame, started 18 of 19 matches this season, registering two goals and 14 shots on goal (second on the team).
The 5-foot-7 redhead was money against DePaul in September when she delivered two goals—both on headers—to supply a 2-1 victory. Her second goal came in the final 90 seconds.
Derya Kelter, who once won a basketball contest for fastest dribbling, has played in eight matches so far for the Badgers. She has a shot on goal, too.
At Chugiak High, DK won championships in soccer, boys hockey and flag football. And don’t let her 5-foot-5 stature fool you either—she is fearless.
At Northern Arizona University, Anchorage’s Carolyn Savage could be part of one of the great upsets in NCAA history.
The Lumberjacks barely broke even this year, winning just nine of 17 matches, yet managed to sneak into the postseason with an at-large berth. Their reward will be top-seeded and undefeated Stanford (20-0) in the first round.
Savage, of Dimond High fame, has come off the bench to bag one goal and two assists. She leads bench players with four points and three shots on goal.
Northern Arizona is playing well of late, going 4-1-1 over its last six matches.
At the University of San Diego, Maggie McGuire of Anchorage is a sophomore forward. She has started two of 11 matches and fired two shots on goal.
And finally, the Washington State University team features Megan Murphy of Anchorage. The redshirt freshman has not played this season.