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Women’s soccer improves playoff chances, men’s soccer goes 1-1

| Staff Reporter

With just three games remaining this season, the Washington University men’s and women’s soccer teams hit the road this weekend in pursuit of two wins apiece to bolster their playoff chances.

The No. 11 women’s team succeeded in that endeavor, posting two shutouts against University Athletic Association (UAA) opponents Carnegie Mellon University and Case Western Reserve University. The men’s team, however, suffered a blowout against Carnegie Mellon before rebounding with a one-goal victory against Case Western.

Women’s soccer

Battling against another ranked opponent, the Bears pulled out a 1-0 victory against No. 18 Carnegie Mellon on Friday. After a scoreless first half, freshman Taylor Cohen zipped a pass to senior Katie Chandler, who buried a shot inside the opposite post in the 60th minute.

Despite being outshot 9-5, the Bears held on for the victory behind senior goalkeeper Lizzy Crist, who made four saves en route to setting a new school record with her 25th career shutout.

On Sunday, the Bears started the game against Case Western much the same way they ended it, with a Chandler goal and a suffocating defense. In the 37th minute, Chandler fired a shot from 10 yards out to notch her team-leading seventh goal of the season and give the Bears a 1-0 lead.

Junior Elise Brown headed in a goal on a pass from senior Hannah Rosenberg in the 54th minute, and sophomore Jessica Kovach added an insurance goal in the 80th minute, as the Bears earned a commanding 3-0 victory.

With the win, Wash. U. (13-2-2, 4-1-1 UAA) moved into sole possession of first place in the UAA and set up a potential conference title match next weekend against No. 6 University of Chicago at Francis Field. A win would give the Bears an automatic bid in the NCAA tournament, but, regardless of the outcome, the Red and Green appear destined to make the playoffs, as they look to build upon last season’s national runner-up finish.

Men’s soccer

Despite making seven saves, senior goalkeeper Nick Tannenbaum and the men’s soccer team suffered a blowout defeat against No. 23 Carnegie Mellon, falling 3-0 on Friday.

The Tartans jumped out to a 2-0 lead by halftime, with goals in the 21st and 37th minutes, respectively, before adding an insurance goal in the 50th minute. The Bears were outshot 11-4 and registered just one shot on goal, as senior Nick Politan’s shot was saved in the 81st minute.

Two days later, however, the Red and Green bounced back with a 2-1 victory over Case Western. Senior Kevin Goon broke a scoreless tie in the 35th minute, while sophomore Ryan Sproule headed in what would prove to be the winning goal on an assist from senior Grant Baltes in the 49th minute. Case Western tallied a goal in the 83rd minute, but the Bears held on for an important 2-1 victory.

After a 7-0-1 start to the season, the Bears (10-4-1, 2-3-1 UAA) have posted just a 3-4 record in their past seven games, resulting in a drop from a nationally ranked team to a borderline playoff team. The Red and Green will have a prime opportunity to strengthen their playoff resume next weekend, when they host undefeated No. 1 Chicago.