Lady Bears vault to Final Four
After defeating Calvin College 2-1 in the sectional final on Saturday night, the No. 17 Lady Bears advance to the Final Four of the NCAA Division III tournament for the second time in school history and for the first time since 1997.
“I dont know if any of us really understand how cool it is,” sophomore Lee Ann Felder said. “I’m just glad that I get to play a few more games with the seniors especially.”
Calvin scored first, as junior Carly Prins headed in a goal at the 43:07 mark off a cross set up on a free kick.
The Bears responded quickly. Co-captain Becca Heymann knotted the score 37 seconds later, collecting a loose ball in the Knights’ box and firing it into the far corner with her left foot. Heymann’s 21st goal moves her all-time points mark to 54, 10th place on the all-time list at Wash. U.
“It happened so quick that you just have to give them credit for their resolve and character,” head coach Jim Conlon said. “Right off the kick off, they regrouped themselves…(Junior) Laura McGinnis was able to keep it alive and had a crafty little touch.”
After taking the tie into the half, “we asked them to be there for each other,” Conlon said. “‘We know you’ve got it in you…go out there and work.’”
Sophomore Lee Ann Felder scored what would be the game-winner in the 57th minute. Sophomore Emma Brown set up senior Caryn Rosoff for the assist with a well-placed through ball. Rosoff dribbled into the box before sending a cross that Felder tapped in.
This isn’t the first time Felder, Brown and Rosoff have been involved in a big play this season. The three linked up for the game-winning goal in overtime against the University of Rochester on Oct. 18.
Freshman goalkeeper Clara Jaques picked up her 16th career win with seven saves as the women’s team tied its program record of 17 wins in a season. “The last 10 minutes of that game felt like at least three hours,” Jacques said. “It could not have gone by slower.” Calvin had two shots and two corner kicks in the final 10 minutes.
The Bears would not have made it this far without Jaques, who made several big saves in Friday’s 2-1 penalty shootout win over No. 24 Wheaton (Ill.).
After two scoreless periods of regulation time followed by two overtime periods, Jacques had to face Wheaton shooters without her defense in penalty kicks. Jacques made four of five saves as senior co-captain Carter Schwarberg and freshman Emily Gosché scored on their attempts. The final Wheaton penalty kick sailed over the crossbar, sealing the Bears’ ticket to the sectional final.
“This is bigger than ourselves,” Schwarberg said. “It’s about the Wash. U. soccer family. Yes, it’s about the people who are sitting next to you, but it’s also about those who made this team possible.”
When Heymann scored the game-tying goal after a group of student fans called the Conlon Crazies started a WUSTL FC chant, “all the fans felt like they were part of the goal,” junior Alex Neumann said.
The No. 17 Bears face the winner of the match between undefeated No. 3 Trinity University (Texas) and Lynchburg College on Dec. 4 at the Blossom Soccer Stadium in San Antonio.
“We want to make history for the women’s soccer program,” Heymann said.