Women’s soccer student-athletes lead summer team to championship
Four Pacific women’s soccer standouts selected to play in the inaugural season of the USL W, a pre-professional women’s soccer league, helped lead their team to a national championship over the summer.
Jaida Nyby ’22, Jenae Packard ’22, Abby Wolf ’23 and Camryn Scully ’22 competed for Tormenta FC and played significant roles. League play started in May and concluded July 23 in front of a sold-out TCO Stadium in Minnesota. Tormenta FC knocked off Minnesota Aurora FC, 2-1, to earn the title.
Georgia-based Tormenta FC was one of 44 teams in the league, which is developing the next generation of women’s soccer talent and enhancing the pipeline from college to professional soccer.
"It was a summer they will never forget,” said Co-Head Coaches Danesha Adams and J.J. Wozniak. “When the club reached out to us in January asking if we had anyone who would want to play, we had several interested. These types of successes are massive for our program and will help immensely as we continue to develop our evolving winning culture.”
The Tigers made an impact shortly after arriving in Statesboro, Georgia. In the second match, Tormenta FC won, and Packard was named player of the match. Nyby was player of the match in the following contest.
“It was an amazing experience to live in a different part of the country, and our team made it easier to be away from home,” Packard said. “I loved getting to know the people on our team and our organization. It’s also cool to see women’s soccer growing and for players to have more opportunities to experience the pre-professional environment.”
“We played some good competition,” Wolf said. “Other teams had players from big schools like Clemson, South Carolina and Vanderbilt. However, the West Coast Conference is one of the top conferences in the country, and I don’t think the level quite compared to what we play in the WCC.”
Nyby was once again instrumental in the championship game against Minnesota Aurora, scoring both goals in the 2-1 win. “Our team worked hard in every single game this summer. It was an honor to feel like I could help contribute to the effort to help our team succeed and push me to improve. Each of my teammates had moments in the final that were game-changing.”
Scully said it was an unforgettable experience.
“We knew we’d be playing in front of a sellout crowd, but it was hard to imagine or know what 6,500 plus fans in that stadium would feel like,” she said. “After the game, it was so special. We all kept hugging each other because we were so happy. To bring back the first-ever W League championship to a small town in Georgia was pretty cool.”
Wolf and Nyby were both named to the USL W League Team of the Year Second Team.
“After winning a championship with Tormenta, it makes me want to win something with Pacific even more,” Wolf said. “Since the end of last season, we have had the mindset that we want to make it to the NCAA tournament.”
Added Packard: “We have high expectations and goals for this season, and I think we learned some things from the playoff and championship environment that we can use to prepare for the season.”
The season starts Aug. 18 with the Tigers taking on Long Beach State. The home opener is Aug. 21 against Sacramento State. View the full schedule here.