Former Pennington girls' soccer standouts Lauren Brown '15 and Alana Cook '15 were crowned NCAA National Champions this past weekend. Brown and her Williams College teammates captured the NCAA Division III National Championship on Saturday, December 2, in Greensboro, N.C. as they defeated the University of Chicago by a score of 1-0.
Cook and her Stanford Cardinal teammates won the NCAA Division I National Championship in a thrilling 3-2 win on Sunday over UCLA at Orlando City Stadium in Orlando, Florida.
An elated Brown said the following when asked about her season with the Ephs, her Final Four experience, and winning the National Championship: "All season this team worked to get to this moment...getting to the Final Four. Being here again almost felt surreal. The competition was strong and I was here, playing with the most special team I've ever been a part of. Both games were challenging, but pure heart, playing for the person next to us, got us through that final game. When the whistle blew I pretty much burst into tears. Your whole life you work for moments like that, and it was an incredible feeling experiencing all of that hard work pay off and sharing that moment with your best friends. Our team motto this season was "Back for more" and we certainly trained and came back for more this season. I'm beyond proud and the feeling of being a National Champ still feels unreal!"
Cook said, "It was truly an incredible experience to hoist the trophy at the end of a long, difficult season. It made me extremely thankful for everyone that contributed to my ability to be there in that moment: my family, all of my youth club and high school coaches, all the teachers that prepared me to succeed at Stanford, and many more."
Pennington standout Ibrahima Diop '18 and Boys' Soccer Coach Chad Bridges '96 were also in Florida for the High School All-Americans soccer matches. Diop represented the East team and Bridges served as a head coach for the same team. Bridges and Diop were able to watch Alana Cook's semi-final match with Alana's parents in the NCAA Division I tournament on Friday night. Stanford defeated South Carolina 2-0 in that match.