Third year head coach Trevor Parent will lead his group of Owls into the quarterfinal round of the GSAC soccer tournament Friday at 10:00 am against #5 seed Mills College of California.
"We have had a really outstanding week of training to get ready for the GSAC's" noted Parent. "The young ladies are ready and I really liked their spirit the last few days despite the cold, wintry training conditions forced upon us."
Presque Isle and northern Maine was hit with an early winter storm Sunday that would doom most outdoor practices, but the athletes on the Maine-Presque Isle campus are cut from a different type of cloth and would never let 8 inches of snow dampen their chances at an NCAA tourney bid.
"We practiced normally as we would any other time of the year," said Parent. "We did our stretching in the gym and headed out to our practice field and as I always say, we go again."
Mills is 0-12 on the year, having been outscored 77-2 in those matches, but scores should not conjure any aspirations of this being a "cake walk" for the Owls. The Cyclones play one of the most harrowing schedules in the NCAA Division III ranks, routinely playing against highly ranked California D-III's as well as scholarship granting NAIA programs that recruit internationally.
Former Division I assistant Laura VanWart is at the helm of the Cyclones. She assisted Long Beach State University to a school record 14 wins and a Big West Championship in 2009 and was named Bay Valley Conference Coach of the Year in 2006 at Contra Costa College. She has also coached at Division I programs Saint Mary's College and Cal-Berkeley.
If victorious in the quarterfinal match Friday, the Owls would play the #1 seed Salem College, who defeated #8 Pine Manor 8-0, Sunday afternoon. Salem is 16-4 on the year and undefeated in GSAC play.