Wittenberg (9-7-3) came out fighting against the defending NCAA DIII Women's Soccer National Champions, Washington University of St. Louis, in the second round of the 2017 NCAA Division III Tournament, but it wasn't enough as the Bears scored the lone goal of the match late in the opening half to secure the 1-0 victory over the Tigers.
The fouls were just as plenty as the shots in the first half, with the Bears leading the tally 10-2 through the forty-five minutes of action. Wittenberg had a chances on goal, when Jordyn Wright (Forest, OH/Riverdale) played a ball across the field to find Leah Soutar (Troy, OH/Troy) on the far post run, forcing the WashU keeper to make an acrobatic save.
It would be a defensive stalemate through the second half, as the two teams did not give an inch in the intensity category. While the aggressive play continued, the Bears made the best of a bad bounce inside the Wittenberg defensive box as WashU scored the go-ahead goal in the 87th minute of action. The Bears' defensive unit also prevented the Tigers from taking a shot throughout the second half.
Coming off the fifth NCAC Tournament Championship in program history, Wittenberg closes out the season with a 9-7-3 mark overall and the Tigers are now 5-7 in NCAA postseason play. This senior class holds an overall record of 40-26-8 and 19-10-1 mark in the NCAC. During their career, they helped the Tigers achieve a 2016 NCAC Regular Season Championship, while receiving an NCAA Tournament bid that same year. Wittenberg ended their season by winning eight of its final 11 games.
Wittenberg (9-6-3) freshman Kaitlyn Krieg (Denver, CO/South) needed little time adjusting to postseason play as she netted a hat trick in her first-career NCAA Tournament game to help lift the Tigers in a 3-2 overtime win over Thomas More (15-5-1) in the opening round of the national tournament on Saturday night in St. Louis, Missouri.
After tying the match with her second goal of the evening with less than three minutes to play in regulation, Krieg sent the Tigers into the second round after collecting another rebounded shot, this time off the foot of senior Leah Soutar (Troy, OH/Troy), and slipping it by the TMC goalie just 2:31 into the first overtime session for the game-winning tally.
With the win, Wittenberg will now square off against host Washington (MO) (16-1-1) in the second round on Sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern time. The Bears opened the national tournament with a convincing 5-0 win over Dominican earlier in the day.
Thomas More got on the board first early in the opening period on an unassisted goal from Ashley Maples, but the Tigers got the equalizer just 2:30 minutes into the second half as Krieg collected a rebound off a shot from senior Jordyn Wright (Forest, OH/Riverdale) and fired it pas the TMC goalie to even the score at 1-1. The Saints regained the lead just 22 seconds later on a goal from Kristina Felix; however, Krieg's late-game heroics would eventually lead Wittenberg to the opening round win.
Wittenberg held a decisive 22-11 advantage in shots during the match and also owned a 7-5 edge in corner kick opportunities.
North Coast Athletic Conference tournament champion Wittenberg (8-6-3) has earned its second-consecutive and seventh all-time berth into the 64-team NCAA Div. III Women’s Soccer Tournament, as the league’s automatic qualifier.
Wittenberg freshman Kaitlyn Krieg (Denver, CO/South) scored the lone goal of the match in the 17th minute to lift the second-seeded Tigers to a 1-0 victory over top-seeded Kenyon (9-7-3) on Saturday afternoon in Gambier.
Krieg’s game-winner was an unassisted tally from the top of the box that sailed into the top left corner. It was the second goal in the NCAC Tournament for Krieg, who scored in the crucial equalizer in the Tigers’ semifinal victory on Wednesday.
Defensively Wittenberg held Kenyon without a shot in the first half and outshot the Ladies, 14-8, on the game. Krieg led all players with four shots while Emma Klug (Wyoming, OH/Wyoming), Gillian Blackwell (Redding, CT/Joel Barlow) and Samantha Hayes (Oakville, Ontario/Iroquois) led Kenyon with two shots apiece.
In goal, senior Hannah Wilson (Pickerington, OH/North) and sophomore Kelly Corbin (Fallbrook, CA/Rancho Buena Vista) combined for three saves and the shutout while sophomore Jillian Countey (New York, NY/Rudolf Steiner) was credited with five saves for the Ladies.
Wittenberg will travel to St. Louis, Missouri for its NCAA opening round contest against Thomas More (15-4-1), the automatic qualifier out of the Presidents Athletic Conference. Thomas More is making its third-straight and eighth overall NCAA appearance. The winner of the Wittenberg/Thomas More match will take on the winner of the Wash. U (15-1-1)/Dominican (17-0-4) match on Sunday at Wash. U.
The winner of Sunday’s second-round game will advance to a four-team sectional tournament to be held on Nov. 17-19 on the campus of one of the competing institutions. Sectional winners will advance to the semifinals December 1 and 2, at UNCG Soccer Stadium in Greensboro, North Carolina, with the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Greensboro Sports Commission serving as hosts..
First-year head coach Katie Robinson leads Wittenberg, which is making its seventh national tournament appearance. The Tigers got strong performances this season from Krieg, Jordyn Wright (Forest, OH/Riverdale) and Megan Davis (Canal Winchester, OH/Pickerington Central) as the trio has combined for 12 of Wittenberg’s 20 goals and dished out five assists for 29 total points. On the defensive side of the ball, Wilson has corralled 56 saves and allowed just 15 goals in 1465:53 minutes of action for a 0.92 goals against average.
Complete NCAA Tournament information can be found online at: www.ncaa.com.