In a performance to be remembered, the Bridgeport Purple Knights got a goal in the 78th minute and used a strong defense and terrific goalie play from Jennifer Wendelius to beat Grand Valley State 1-0 for the Division II Women’s Soccer Championship.
With Grand Valley State on the offensive throughout, Bridgeport pulled the surprise late in the second half when Nara DaCosta headed in a rebound of Elin Eklund’s shot that hit the corner of the crossbar and right post.
Wendelius, who won the NCAA Elite 90 award for having the highest GPA among the women’s soccer finalists, played smart in goal as well, saving six shots on goal at key times.
The Purple Knights were the first team in this tournament to keep the Lakers scoreless in the first half, and they went on to be the only team this year to beat them. The made their ninth trip to the final four in 10 years and were seeking their sixth title. Many people thought they’d get it, except for the Bridgeport team. Despite having lost to the Lakers 6-0 in September, the outcome when it mattered most was far different.