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CC Women’s Soccer Joins Mountain West

After spending the last two seasons atop Conference USA, the Colorado College women’s soccer team has a new and more challenging mountain to climb.

Beginning in the fall of 2014, the Tigers will compete as an affiliate member in the Mountain West Conference, which consists of Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, Fresno State, Nevada, New Mexico, San Diego State, San Jose State, UNLV, Utah State, and Wyoming.

“The Mountain West continues to demonstrate its commitment to women’s athletics and its pursuit of excellence,” said Ken Ralph, CC's director of athletics. “We could not be more proud to join the conference at such an exciting time in the league’s history.”

“This invitation from the Mountain West demonstrates their commitment to the sport of women's soccer and to the continued development of women's athletics,” said Anne Goodman James, senior woman administrator at CC. “We are grateful for the opportunity to compete with these outstanding schools right here in our part of the country.”

Colorado College has eight players from states in which Mountain West members are located – five from California and three from Colorado. Five more Tigers are from the Pacific Time Zone, while another hails from Hawaii.

“We’re extremely excited about joining the Mountain West,” said All-America forward Jessie Ayers ’15. “A lot of our players are from the West Coast, including myself, and Colorado. So, in terms of building fan support here at home and on the road, it will be very good.”

“We are so grateful to (Commissioner) Craig Thompson, (Assistant Commissioner) Dawn Anderson, and all of the member schools for the work they put into making this happen. We are fully prepared to represent the conference with the passion, commitment, and integrity that is the hallmark of the Mountain West,” Ralph said.

“Colorado College has a growing national reputation in women’s soccer and the Mountain West will certainly benefit,” Thompson said. “In addition, the natural geographic proximity will support our scheduling efforts.”

Colorado College, which played host to the first national collegiate championship for the sport in 1980, made its 11th appearance overall in the national playoffs last fall when the Tigers played host to Duke University. In addition to the two championship matches in 1986 and 1989, they reached the national semifinals five times during a remarkable stretch that once produced eight consecutive NCAA bids from 1984 through 1991.

CC celebrated its 30th season in the NCAA Division I ranks this fall, won its second consecutive C-USA regular-season title with an 8-1-1 mark, and claimed its first-ever postseason crown with a 3-0 victory over North Texas in the championship match.

The Tigers finished the season with a 15-4-3 overall record after officially playing Duke to a 1-1 tie in the opening round of the NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship.

“We love the level of play in the conference,” head coach Geoff Bennett said.” The Mountain West programs know who we are, and we’re familiar with a handful of the teams in the conference. Our goal is to continue to make our program better and hopefully make the Mountain West Conference better.”

Colorado College owns an all-time record of 22-9-4 (.686) against current members of the MW.