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One year after posting 13 wins the Dordt College Lady Defenders matched that win total, the second highest in the program's history, and advanced to the NAIA Region IV semifinals before seeing their successful 2003 campaign come to an end.
The Lady Defenders used a six-game winning streak from October 4 to October 21 to solidify their spot as one of the top teams in the Great Plains Athletic Conference. Oddly, the team that eliminated Dordt College from the GPAC post -eason tournament, Dana, was Dordt's first round opponent in the Regional tournament. The Lady Defenders forged a 2-1 win in the first round of the Regional tournament before dropping the semifinal contest to Hastings College, 2-1, on November 14. The Lady Defenders ended with a 13-7-1 record. By reaching the regional semifinals the Lady Defenders advanced as deep into the playoffs as they ever have, matching their finishes in 1998 and 1999.
Bethany Nishimoto and Angie Katsma, a pair of juniors, were named to the All Great Plains Athletic Conference second team. Nishimoto, a forward from Aiea, Hawaii, was the leading scorer for the Lady Defenders with 13 goals. She also had four assists as Dordt College went 8-3 in the conference.
Katsma, a defender from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, was a big reason the Lady Defenders surrendered just 1.3 goals per game average. Katsma also scored four goals and assisted on two others. The biology major also earned NAIA Scholar Athlete status this season.
All Conference honorable mention honors went to Nicki De Blaey, Heather Otten, Flo Haringsma, and Suzanne Clark.
De Blaey is a sophomore from Sheboygan, Wisconsin. De Blaey scored seven goals while assisting on four despite playing on an injured ankle most of the season. Otten, a freshman defensive player from Brookfield, Wisconsin scored two goals and assisted on two.
Haringsma, a junior from Ontario, California, and Clark, a freshman from Elm Grove, Wisconsin, played defense for the Lady Defenders as they posted four shutouts and allowed a single goal in six other games.
In addition to Katsma the Lady Defenders had three other players named as scholar athletes. Jill Erffmeyer, a senior English major from Hudsonville, Michigan, earns the honor for the second time. Michelle Veldhuisen, a fellow senior from Emo, Ontario, also earned the accolades.
Steph Schippers rounds out the list after scoring five goals and assisting on two this season. Schippers is an elementary education major from West Olive, Michigan.
NAIA Scholar Athletes must be nominated by their coach, make significant contributions to their team, be a junior or senior and hold at least a 3.5 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.
The Lady Defenders are coached by Bill Elgersma. The Dordt College graduate owns a 108-54-10 career record at Dordt in nine seasons, seven with the men from 1993-1999 and two with the Lady Defenders from 2002-2003.