Soccer advances to sweet 16 on penalty kicks
Freshman Alyssa Marulli made the biggest play of her collegiate career Sunday, nailing a penalty kick to clinch victory for the women’s soccer team and a Sweet Sixteen berth in the NCAA tournament. The Bears had played Illinois Wesleyan University to a 0-0 tie before going on to beat the Titans 3-1 on penalty kicks after two scoreless overtime periods.
On Saturday, the Red and Green beat local rival Principia College 3-0 to advance. Junior Caryn Rosoff scored the game winner in the 16th minute. Senior back Shirey Lane hit a cross to Rosoff in front of the net. Rosoff found herself in a one-on-one situation with Principia goalie Mel Stein and one-timed the ball into the net.
Principia nearly tied the score 10 minutes later when freshman Alicia Girbes-Pierce broke away and was one-on-one with Wash. U. keeper Amanda Boe. Girbes-Pierce’s shot ricocheted off of the post.
The Bears broke away in the second half. Senior Caitlin Malone shot a ball into the corner of the net off of a Rosoff pass 10 minutes into the half. She added another insurance goal in the 63rd minute when she took a pass from senior midfielder Lauren Mehner and put the ball into the net from 20 yards out. Boe and sophomore Katy Southworth combined in the net for the shutout. With the loss, Principia ends its season with a 19-2 record with both losses coming against Wash. U.
“We knew we could beat them. We had done it before. They had nothing to lose, so it was harder in that regard,” Malone said.
The first half of the second round game against Illinois Wesleyan University was very evenly matched. The Titans had just come off of a 4-3 penalty kick victory over Rhodes College but showed no signs of weariness. Illinois Wesleyan had a great scoring opportunity in the 20th minute when sophomore Alyssa Feulner got off a powerful shot. Boe made a diving save to preserve the tie. Wash. U. answered in the 31st minute with a scramble in front of the net. The Bears, however, could not capitalize on the open net.
Boe played brilliantly in the second half as well, knocking two shots over the crossbar to keep the Titans off the board.
“It was the best save I have ever seen,” Head Coach Jim Conlon said of one of Boe’s punches.
The Bears looked like they might have put the game away in the 84th minute as freshman Lee Ann Felder took a free kick right outside the box before the wall was set. Illinois Wesleyan keeper Alli Novack made a solid diving save. Regulation ended in a 0-0 tie.
After one overtime, the game remained tied at 0-0. No one could find the net in the second overtime either, meaning the game would be decided on penalty kicks. Boe saved her best soccer for the end of the game, saving three of the four penalty kicks she faced. The Bears made three of theirs, enough to win the game and move on. Marulli nailed the winning kick. Mehner and junior Becca Heymann also made penalty kicks.
“I knew where they were going before the shot. I knew we were going to win,” Boe said.
The Bears will now face Wheaton College in the Sweet Sixteen. Wheaton will host the next two rounds of play. The Bears are excited to face their longtime rival for the first time this season.
“We will start to put together a game plan for the Wheaton match so that we can advance,” Conlon said.