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College Soccer: Paul Kopp shines in dramatic win, Maddie McDonald keeps impressing, and other conference play updates; plus a D1 signing

by | Nov 6, 2023 | Cover Story, Soccer

Paul Kopp

Anchorage’s Paul Kopp was staring at the final one minute and 10 seconds of his college soccer career and The Master’s University’s season was on the brink.

The Mustangs trailed 2-1 to the Jessup Warriors in the opening round of the Golden State Athletic Conference Championship Tournament on Saturday when Kopp perfectly placed a corner kick where his 6-3 teammate Kai Terentieff could head it between the pipes to tie the game.

Then 21 seconds later TMU got the game-winner on a free kick.

Final score: The Master’s 3, Jessup 2.

Jim Rickard, in his 33rd year as head coach of the Mustangs shared later that he couldn’t recall ever being a part something like Saturday’s dramatic finish.

Kopp, a Grace Christian graduate, got the scoring started in the first half, using the side of his foot to flick a crossing ball past the goalkeeper.

It was his first goal of the season. The corner kick to follow would be his first assist of the season.

While not a big scorer, Kopp has been a core player for the NAIA Mustangs throughout his career and played in every game this season. The senior midfielder did what he needed to do to play another game.

“Paul had a career day, so that was obviously important,” Rickard shared with the media after the game.

Kopp was named GSAC conference player of the week for his efforts.

The Master’s of Santa Clarita, California now face No. 1-seed Menlo in the GSAC semifinals Thursday. The Oaks were 9-0-5 on the season and 6-0-1 in conference play.

Plenty other Alaskans shined on the collegiate pitch in conference tournament action across the country this past weekend.

South Anchorage High graduate Maddie McDonald assisted on the game-winner in overtime to help Maryville College beat Covenant and win the Collegiate College of the South Conference.

The freshman has been a regular starter for the Scots of Maryville, Tennessee this year and was recently named Conference Rookie of the Year.

Also a freshman for the Scots, Ellie Schuld, of Service High fame, logged 23 minutes in the championship match. She has three goals and three assists on the season.

Maddie McDonald

McDonald, Schultz and their teammates had to wait for today’s selection show to hear that Maryville received an at-large bid for the NCAA Division III tournament since their conference is in the final year of a two-year waiting period to receive automatic bids.

The 15-3-3 Scots, who have outscored their CCS foes 56-3 this season, will play host 14-1-2 WashU in round one of the 64-team tournament on Friday.

Anchorage’s Marielle Corotan and Juneau’s McKenna McNutt are also headed to the Division III NCAA tournament.

A freshman defender from Dimond High, Corotan appeared in ten games for University of Wisconsin-Superior, who is 16-5-1 on the season and won the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference tournament for the third straight season. The Yellowjackets face host Wisconsin-LaCrosse (17-1-1) on Friday.

McKenna McNutt from Juneau-Douglas High is sophomore midfielder for 15-4-1 Maine Maritime Academy who won the North Atlantic Conference and advance to play 16-1-1 Amherst on Friday.

Freshman Misha Turchaninov (West Anchorage High) is also heading to the NCAA Division III tournament with the Pacific Lutheran men’s soccer team, where they will play Carleton College on Saturday. Former Service standouts Vasil Mladenov and Brady Rufner are both redshirting this season for the Lutes.

The Lutes finish the regular season with a 14-2-4 record. They suffered only their first conference loss of the season, 2-1 last Saturday to Willamette, who have have South Anchorage graduate Sammy Twenhafel on their roster.

Twenhafel, a senior, concluded his Bearcat career the following day contributing a shot on goal in a 3-1 loss to Pacific. Willamette ends the season with a 8-11-1 record.

Matt Gordon

In the Northwest Athletic Conference, Anchorage goaltender Matt Gordon was in net for Clark College in their 3-0 quarterfinal loss to Peninsula on Friday.

Gordon, who was named a team captain and the starting keeper, logged 776 minutes in net on the season as a freshman for the Penguins, who finished the season with a 14-4-4 record and led the conference with 11 shutouts.

The four-year starting keeper at Service High finished his first collegiate campaign with a 1.16 goals against average.

In women’s NWAC action, Kaycee Chavez from Eagle River High registered 10 saves on 11 shots on goal for North Idaho College in a tough 1-0 overtime loss to undefeated Peninsula College in the conference tournament quarterfinals Saturday.

Chavez was spectacular all year for the 13-6-4 Cardinals. The sophomore keeper started 21 games and in 1,893 minutes in goal on the season, only allowed 12 goals for a sterling 0.57 GAA.

Kaycee Chavez

Kara Michaelis of Fairbanks also turned in a solid season for NIC. The freshman midfielder from West Valley High started 12 games and had 4 goals and 3 assists on the year.

Three Alaskans suit up for Peninsula, and contributed to their dramatic quarterfinal win over NIC.

Blake Plummer from Juneau-Douglas High started and logged 90 of the 96 minutes for Peninsula at outside back.

Freshman forward Desi Dutra from North Pole High played 60 minutes and freshman midfielder Marley Hamlett from Dimond High registered 23 minutes for the Pirates, who improved their record to 16-0-2. They play 12-2-4 Spokane, last year’s NWAC champion, in the conference semifinals Saturday.

Chugiak High grad Olivia Dimmick is redshirting for the Pirates this season.

In other college soccer news, Anchorage’s Allie Fouts will be formerly signing to play at Division I Syracuse on a scholarship.

Allie Fouts

Fouts discovered her love for soccer as a Hanshew Middle School student. Her rapid ascent in the sport began while playing with Anchorage and Wasilla club soccer programs, and progressed to the National Girls Academy Club.

She has been a member of the national club team since 2019 while attending Lake Orion High in Michigan.

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Alaska Airlines | Nicole Johnston | Richard Mize | Advanced Diagnostics, INC | Aktive Soles | Alaska Oil and Gas Association | Aspen Endodontics | Black-Smith, Bethard & Carlson, LLC. | BOSCO's | Coho Financial Group | Continental Auto Group | Don Clary & Judy Besh | Glen Bailey | Invisalign-Ben Ward | JL Properties | Joey Caterinichio & Ja Dorris| Kathleen Navarre | Midas Alaska | Moose's Tooth, Bear Tooth and Broken Tooth Brewing | Perkins Coie - Sarah & A.J. Schirack | R&M Consultants, Inc. | RE/MAX Dynamic Properties Kevin Taylor | Residential Mortgage | Seth Wickersham & Alison Overholt | Taylored Restoration | Korndrop Family Foundation | Arctic Slope Regional Corporation | Replacement Glass | Zareena and Allen Clendaniel | Foley & Pearson | UAA Seawolves | Tony and Carla Slaton Barker | Sportclips Haircuts | Alliance for Support of American Legion Baseball in Alaska | Alice & Gunnar Knapp | Amy and Jason Miller | Burgerfi | Charles Fedullo | Dan Rufner | Darren Lieb | Don Winchester | Donley Family | Dr. Justin Libby, DDS | Firetap | Harlow Robinson | Jason & Shannon Metrokin | Jim & Michelle Hajdukovich | Joe Alston | Kathie Bethard | Krispy Kreme | Kristopher Knauss | Loren Kroon | Mark and Jamie Johnson | Mark Silverman | On the Border | Pete Robinson | Rick Mystrom | Team Heat | Team Moriarty | The Conway Family | Todd Whited | Moria Smith | In memory of Drs. John & Elizabeth Tower | Peter Pounds | Multisport Training of Alaska/Lisa Keller | RSA Engineering

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