Navarro's women's soccer team opens pool play in the NJCAA DI national tournament Monday in Melbourne, Fla. against Lewis & Clark and the most prolific scorer in the nation.
The Bulldogs (14-4) have been ranked in the top-10 in the NJCAA national poll all year and enter the tournament as the No. 9 seed after receiving an at-large bid, but the Dawgs will have to find a way to stop a Lewis & Clark team that scores like crazy.
The Trailblazers are 19-2 and the No. 4 seed in the 12-team field. They have won 17 in a row, thanks in great part to Boitumelo Rabale, who leads the nation in scoring with 52 goals. She also has handed out 32 assists and leads the NJCAA in points as well.
Rabale is from the small African nation of Lesotho, and is part of a lethal 1-2 punch that includes Candice Parziani, a striker from Australia who has scored 31 goals.
If that's not enough to get a team's attention, L&C has scored 132 goals in 21 games this season, which looks even more daunting considering Navarro has scored just 57 goals this year.
The good news for Navarro is Alicia Wilson's team got here with its defense, and has won 14 of its last 16, losing only to No. 3 Tyler (and both of those loses were in Tyler).
The Bulldogs are the only team to beat Tyler this season an have built their resume on a fast and tenacious defense that takes away more goals than it allows.
The Bulldogs have a dozen shutouts this season, and goalkeeper Grace Staunton, who was the Region XIV goalkeeper, has been brilliant all year.
Laura Janza, who started the season in goal, was moved to midfield, where she has been a big part of Navarro's attack this season, scoring nine goals and handing out five assists. She scored both goals in Navarro's 2-1 win over Tyler at the Roark Montgomery Soccer Complex.
Nicole Olaya leads Navarro with 10 goals, and she's dished out four assists, and Roneisha Franks has nine goals and seven assists. Tateyanna Pitter leads the Dawgs with 10 assists and Manami Okada, has seven.
Okada is a leader on defense along with Manyima Stevelmans. Pitter and Okada were named to the All-Region XIV first-team along with Staunton.
It has been a remarkable run this season for a Bulldogs team that lost three of the best scorers in the nation to graduation, including All-American Wasila Diwura from last year's team that advanced to the nationals.
Wilson has done an incredible job this season with her youngest team, a group that included an unheard of 18 freshmen. The Bulldogs have bonded and become a close team that has come together and found ways to win without a lethal scorer.
Now the Dawgs need to find a way to win against the most lethal scorer in the nation.