Women’s soccer falls 1-0 in national championship game
SAN ANTONIO — The Washington University women’s soccer team could go no further in their record setting season. Just a day after tying their program’s record with the 17th win in a single season, the Lady Bears fell 1-0 to Messiah College in the NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer National Championship.
Despite a spirited counterattack in the waning minutes of the game, their efforts were for naught. The closest they came was a loft pass from senior Elyse Hanly to senior Emily Bylsma amid a large scramble of players. The shot found the left exterior of the net.”We did stay in till the end,” junior Laura McGinnis said. “We didn’t stop fighting.”
“As much as I wish we had won, I’m not upset,” sophomore Emma Brown said. “This has been the best experience of my life.”
Brown, Felder and senior Libby Held were named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team. ” I had no idea what was going on when they called my number,” Felder said. “We just enjoyed every minute. To get to have the longest season of any team, that’s all you could ask for.”
Amanda Naether, a Messiah player, found the lower right corner of the goal in the 23rd minute, sending the ball under freshman goalkeeper Clara Jaques. Jaques recorded three saves in the first half.
The Bears had some opportunities but were unable to finish as Messiah kept the game at high pressure. The Falcons had a 16-6 advantage in shots. Junior Laura McGinnis received a yellow card at the 66-minute mark.
Despite the loss, Wash. U. fans were still upbeat and spirited. “The last ten minutes were the best of the game,” junior Harry Beddo said. “Non-stop yelling, jumping, singing Glory WUSTL FC.”
There was still plenty to cheer about and the women’s soccer team expressed their appreciation for the fans who made the 16 hour journey. “It’s hard to rush the field when the NCAA and San Antonio police are standing right there,” junior Stephanie Dresner said. The 23 students on the fan bus were able to celebrate with the team on the field for a brief minute after the awards were handed out.
“As far as this weekend is concerned, we won the banquet, we won the boat ride, we won the picture, we won our game and Messiah only won one game,” senior Paula Davis said. “Overall, we won. I feel like a winner. And we have the best fans. You can quote me on that.”