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Hawks Women's Soccer NJCAA DII Champions

November 22, 2021

Heartland Community College’s women’s soccer team finished their 2021 season as undefeated national champions.   

In his first season as head coach, Norman Ramos guided the team to the program’s first ever national tile. The team’s previous season came to an end with a double-overtime loss in the national semi-final game. Then, just months later, the Hawks earned their way back to the championship game. And this time around, they were ranked No. 1. 

In the title game against No. 4-ranked Pima Community College (Tucson, AZ), the Hawks got on the board early in the fifth minute by sophomore Lucia Cuadra, but would end up trailing their opponents 2-1 in the second half. Another goal from Cuadra – her 40th of the season – would tie the game at 2-2: where the score would remain through the rest of regulation time and double-overtime. 

The match came down to penalty kicks. Made attempts by Marta Gonzalez and Paula Hernandez, on top of key back-to-back saves by goal keeper Bekah Nielsen, a Normal West High School grad, secured the Hawk victory as champions. 

Cuadra, Laia Gonzalez, and Leslie Gutierrez received All-Tournament Team honors for their stand-out performances at nationals. Ramos was named Coach of the Tournament and Cuadra was recognized as Most Valuable Player. 

Outscoring their opponents 100-9, the Hawks completed their fall season with a perfect 20-0 record. 

“These girls displayed what a champion looks like in every aspect of being a student athlete,” said Luke Wing, Associate Director of Athletics. 

Heartland Athletics saw a school-record five teams advance to national tournament play this November. Joining the women’s soccer team were the men’s soccer team, men’s and women’s cross country teams and women’s volleyball team.

Written by: Steve Fast