WALLA WALLA - The song remains the same for the Walla Walla Community College women's soccer team this year as the squad is once again headed to the postseason with a noon home match on Saturday versus Lane in the NWAACC quarterfinals.
"Our program is excited to have a chance to get back to the final four and try to defend last year's performance if we can get through Saturday," said Warrior head coach Chad Bodnar of his NWAACC defending champions. "We are all extremely proud of being a part of Walla Walla Community College, and we want to represent our school and community as well as we possibly can."
Bodnar and his staff have been scouting Lane, and they have been getting the women ready for a worthy competitor.
"We went to Eugene and watched the first-round game they played," Bodnar said. "Lane plays very direct and has some fast kids up top that can cause trouble if we allow them the chance. They played in a 4-3-3 formation and looked decent going forward."
The home field advantage is a major plus, according to Bodnar, who expects big things from his team, which has not disappointed on a year that has seen them maintain a level of dominance unmatched in the NWAACC. The Warriors have won the NWAACC East Region title eight straight years.
"It's a really nice thing to be able to play on our field and in front of our home fans," Bodnar said. "This is what we played for this year, and to get rewarded is nice."
Another major advantage will be the Warriors' experience after last year's run through the playoffs.
"It's a major plus for us to have a lot of players who went through this last year," Bodnar said. "It's also a matter of our tradition helping us be confident about how we can perform. The fact that we've been here gives us a little added confidence."
The strengths are plentiful for WWCC, including the preparation Bodnar and his staff have given his team heading into its next battle on the pitch. The Warriors know they face a squad that can challenge it in a postseason showdown.
Still, he also knows that his squad has its fair shares of strengths.
"They are an extremely hard working group that believes in the tradition we've built here, and they want to add to it," he said of the Warriors. "They are a very good attacking team with multiple players that can contribute on any gven day. It's probably the best defensive group of players we have ever had."
As far as moving forward goes, Bodnar's playoff-tested core knows it's just a matter of taking it one game at a time in the quest to continue the school history of excellence.
"We don't look past any team," Bodnar said. "We know when you're in the playoffs that you have to step your game up, and there is absolutely no team that you can look past at this point in the year. We respect every team we play, and we know that we have to play at a playoff level to beat a team like Lane."