PENSACOLA, FL (WTVM) - The Columbus State women's soccer team began practice on Friday morning by forming a ring with their hands joined and repeating the phrase "Today we're going to get better, today we're going to get better, today we're going to get better."
It was the final practice of the season for the Lady Cougars as they prepared for Saturday's national championship game.
"We're thankful that we're able to go all the way and for this to be literally the last practice that we could have in a season," freshman defender Brooke Nail said. "Today we were just ready to take care of business and prepare for tomorrow."
Senior defender Shelby Rolling agreed.
"Oh 100% it makes it all worth it," said Rolling. "We've worked so hard all year and we've improved every practice, every time we focus and we cross the line together and this is really our year to win it."
The Cougars will face what is arguably their toughest test of the year. Grand Valley State has won back-to-back national championships, but the Cougars believe they can prevent a three-peat. Head coach Jay Entlich doesn't want his girls to be called the underdogs.
"We're going into this going 'We're the favorite.' We don't listen to anyone else. We're the favorite and we're going to get after it and we're going to try to outscore them because that's the name of the game."
307 teams started the season with National Championship hopes. Now it's down to two -- and only one will be left standing after Saturday's game.
"It feels great," junior forward Mandy Janowitz said. "Ever since the first day our whole goal is to get to the national championship and win it and ever since then we believed we could. It's amazing to know that we've been so determined and worked so hard and it's all paid off and we're here. It's been our goal since day one and we're here to accomplish it."