NCAA Women's College Cup

December 04, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

NCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - West Virginia Mountaineers vs USC TrojansNCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - West Virginia Mountaineers vs USC TrojansDec 4, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; USC Trojans players celebrate with the championship trophy as confetti goes off after defeating the West Virginia Mountaineers in the women's college cup NCAA national championship game at Avaya Stadium. The USC Trojans defeated the against the West Virginia Mountaineers 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

While other people were covering the Pac-12 Football Championship (congrats to Kyle Terada who got an SI cover photo from it) and the Raiders game on Sunday. I had the pleasure of covering the NCAA Women's College Cup at Avaya Stadium. The USC Trojans versus the Georgetown Hoyas, the West Virginia Mountaineers v the North Carolina Tar Heels. And the final between the Trojans and the Mountaineers.

NCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - West Virginia Mountaineers vs USC TrojansNCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - West Virginia Mountaineers vs USC TrojansDec 4, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; The field before the game between the West Virginia Mountaineers and the USC Trojans in the women's college cup NCAA national championship game at Avaya Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

You might think I'm being sarcastic, but I'm not. I LOVE women's soccer. I so miss my days of covering FC Gold Pride for WPS... though mostly I just miss Marta, one of the only athletes I've ever felt in awe and slightly nervous to be in the proximity of ;)

FC Gold Pride vs Washington FreedomFC Gold Pride vs Washington FreedomMarta celebrates after scoring the equalizer. FC Gold Pride tied the Washington Freedom 1-1 at Castro Valley HS Athletic Stadium in Castro Valley, California on June 5th, 2010.

I'm lucky because every year I get to shoot college football, every year I get to shoot NFL, and I don't take that for granted. But I LOVE covering something I don't regularly get to cover. And by that I don't just mean women's collegiate soccer, but actually the frisbee dogs who are THE BEST!! Mostly because their human counterparts are JUST as excited as the dogs.

NCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - West Virginia Mountaineers vs USC TrojansNCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - West Virginia Mountaineers vs USC TrojansDec 4, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; Frisbee dogs perform during half time of the women's college cup NCAA national championship game at Avaya Stadium. The USC Trojans defeated the West Virginia Mountaineers 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports NCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - West Virginia Mountaineers vs USC TrojansNCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - West Virginia Mountaineers vs USC TrojansDec 4, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; Frisbee dogs perform during half time of the women's college cup NCAA national championship game at Avaya Stadium. The USC Trojans defeated the West Virginia Mountaineers 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

I have some pretty big beef with the NCAA for using the hashtag to be #WCollegeCup while the men's is just #CollegeCup as opposed to #MCollegeCup. And their signboards constantly flashing College Sports: A Pathway to Opportunity.

NCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - West Virginia vs North CarolinaNCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - West Virginia vs North CarolinaDec 2, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; A signboard promoting NCAA during the second half between the North Carolina and the West Virginia at Avaya Stadium. The West Virginia defeated the North Carolina 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

That is a HUGE problem. Sure, NCAA has been a means for SOME athletes to have the "opportunity" access to take classes on a college campus. This does not mean the NCAA has provided the necessary support to ensure these student athletes get degrees let alone degrees and resources that provide them a lifetime of opportunity after their career is over. Some coaches, universities and players take this upon themselves, but the NCAA patting themselves on the back gives me endless eyerolls. Also, not everyone has the build or mindset to be an athlete, our education system needs to offer "a pathway to opportunity" to everyone, instead of teaching young kids that sports are the pathway to opportunity.

Also, watching this poor ball girl freeze all night, did not seem like a great opportunity :P

NCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - West Virginia Mountaineers vs USC TrojansNCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - West Virginia Mountaineers vs USC TrojansDec 4, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; A young ball girl sits on a stool during the game between the West Virginia Mountaineers and the USC Trojans during the second half in the women's college cup NCAA national championship game at Avaya Stadium. The USC Trojans defeated the West Virginia Mountaineers 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

But off my soap box... two great semifinals games, 1-0 (yes, I know we Americans struggle caring about low scoring games) second half goals

NCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - USC v GeorgetownNCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - USC v GeorgetownDec 2, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; USC forward Katie Johnson (33, center) celebrates with midfielder Ashleigh Plumptre (22) and forward Leah Pruitt (35) after a goal against Georgetown during the second half at Avaya Stadium. USC defeated Georgetown 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports And then the final where USC goalkeeper, Sammy Jo Prudhomme, really wow-ed me with some amazing saves... she is fearless and definitely the real deal.

NCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - West Virginia Mountaineers vs USC TrojansNCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - West Virginia Mountaineers vs USC TrojansDec 4, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; USC Trojans goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme (1) defends the shot by West Virginia Mountaineers forward Sh'Nia Gordon (99) during the first half in the women's college cup NCAA national championship game at Avaya Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports NCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - West Virginia Mountaineers vs USC TrojansNCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - West Virginia Mountaineers vs USC TrojansDec 4, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; USC Trojans goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme (1) punches away the ball against West Virginia Mountaineers forward Michaela Abam (5) during the first half in the women's college cup NCAA national championship game at Avaya Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports NCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - West Virginia Mountaineers vs USC TrojansNCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - West Virginia Mountaineers vs USC TrojansDec 4, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; USC Trojans goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme (1) extends her leg to defend the shot with defender Ally Prisock (23) against the West Virginia Mountaineers during the first half in the women's college cup NCAA national championship game at Avaya Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

NCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - West Virginia Mountaineers vs USC TrojansNCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - West Virginia Mountaineers vs USC TrojansDec 4, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; USC Trojans goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme (1) punches away the ball against the West Virginia Mountaineers during the first half in the women's college cup NCAA national championship game at Avaya Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports And Katie Johnson, the non-starter senior recorded TWO goals and scoring Friday night's game winning goal as well, and was basically just in disbelief at the final whistle. Like "Is this really happening?"

NCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - West Virginia Mountaineers vs USC TrojansNCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - West Virginia Mountaineers vs USC TrojansDec 4, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; USC Trojans forward Katie Johnson (33) reacts as the clock winds down against the West Virginia Mountaineers during the second half in the women's college cup NCAA national championship game at Avaya Stadium. The USC Trojans defeated the West Virginia Mountaineers 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports I hate taking dejection photos because it feels so mean to expose someone's pain like that

NCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - West Virginia Mountaineers vs USC TrojansNCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - West Virginia Mountaineers vs USC TrojansDec 4, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers players console goalkeeper Rylee Foster (25) after the loss to the USC Trojans in the women's college cup NCAA national championship game at Avaya Stadium. The USC Trojans defeated the West Virginia Mountaineers 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports But I LOVE celebration photos that include the dejection of the other team. It doesn't reveal their faces, but it does show their feelings, and reminds you that sports can bring you so much elation, but if there's winner... that also means there's a loser :-/

NCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - West Virginia Mountaineers vs USC TrojansNCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - West Virginia Mountaineers vs USC TrojansDec 4, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; USC Trojans midfielder Morgan Andrews (3) reacts as the Trojans win the women's college cup NCAA national championship game against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Avaya Stadium. The USC Trojans defeated the West Virginia Mountaineers 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports Though with a score 3-1 where the losing team had some time in the final minutes to process the loss, it's not quite as dramatic as the 1-0 finals where the losing team still felt they had a chance until the final whistle, and it wasn't just losing the championship, but realizing your season is over and you aren't going on to the championship

NCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - USC v GeorgetownNCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - USC v GeorgetownDec 2, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; USC goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme (1) celebrates after the win against Georgetown at Avaya Stadium. USC defeated Georgetown 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports Hard to think that the winning team in the semi final game had this feeling on Friday

NCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - West Virginia vs North CarolinaNCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - West Virginia vs North CarolinaDec 2, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; West Virginia players celebrate after the win against the North Carolina at Avaya Stadium. The West Virginia defeated the North Carolina 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports ... before losing on Saturday

NCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - West Virginia Mountaineers vs USC TrojansNCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - West Virginia Mountaineers vs USC TrojansDec 4, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers players react after the loss to USC Trojans in the women's college cup NCAA national championship game at Avaya Stadium. The USC Trojans defeated the West Virginia Mountaineers 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports But congrats to USC (Go Pac-12)

NCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - West Virginia Mountaineers vs USC TrojansNCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - West Virginia Mountaineers vs USC TrojansDec 4, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; USC Trojans celebrate after the win against the West Virginia Mountaineers in the women's college cup NCAA national championship game at Avaya Stadium. The USC Trojans defeated the West Virginia Mountaineers 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

After the game, I used my old Olympus OM-D E-M1 and OM-D E-M5 Mark II (still waiting for my E-M1 Mark II bodies to arrive) and made some fun celebration photos.

NCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - West Virginia Mountaineers vs USC TrojansNCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - West Virginia Mountaineers vs USC TrojansDec 4, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; USC Trojans players dump powerade on head coach Keidane McAlpine in celebration after the West Virginia Mountaineers in the women's college cup NCAA national championship game at Avaya Stadium. The USC Trojans defeated the against the West Virginia Mountaineers 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports NCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - West Virginia Mountaineers vs USC TrojansNCAA Soccer: Women's College Cup - West Virginia Mountaineers vs USC TrojansDec 4, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; USC Trojans forward Savannah Levin (13) and defender Mandy Freeman (12) lay on the field surrounded by confetti after defeating the West Virginia Mountaineers in the women's college cup NCAA national championship game at Avaya Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

 


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