Four teams closed out the 2016 season in Salem, Virginia as the NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer Final Four.
The Washington University Bears wound up bringing the championship hardware back to St. Louis with a thrilling overtime victory over Messiah. UChicago and Brandeis also made the trip, and will be looking to return this fall for a chance at the top-spot.
The teams with the shortest offseasons returned to the field this weekend to open play in their 2017 schedules, and we take a look at how things opened up.
Washington U (4) – DePauw (1)
Sophomore Taylor Cohen put the Bears’ final tally on the board of WashingtonU’s opener with DePauw in the 60th minute, as the reigning National Champions came away with a 4-1 victory over the Tigers in Friday night’s opener.
The Bears had numerous opportunities in the first half, but were denied by Tiger keeper Natalie Sheeks until the 32nd minute when Cohen headed home a cross from junior Darcy Cunningham to open the scoring on the day.
Sophomore Jesse Rubin added a goal in the 37th minute to take the score to 2-0, with Cohen and Allison Cerny getting the assist. Junior Maggie Crist chipped in an unassisted goal in the 43rd minute to open the margin to 3-0 just before the break.
The Tigers found the net in the first minute of the second half scoring on a corner kick to cut the lead to 3-1, but that was all the Bear defense would allow.
Cohen’s second goal came off an assist from senior Gillian Myers for the eighth goal of her career.
Sharing duty in goal for the Bears were sophomore Kay Hutson and freshman Emma Greenfield.
WashU hosts Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in the home opener Thursday, Sept. 6, at 7:30 p.m.
UChicago (3) – Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (1)
Just 30 minutes into her collegiate career, University of Chicago freshman Katie Jasminski netted her first career goal to kickstart the Maroons to a season-opening, 3-1 win at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Friday.
The goal from Jasminski turned out to be the only scoring of the first half and came via an assist from classmate Charlotte Waechter, giving the Maroons an early advantage at the break.
A minute into the second half sophomore Adrianna Vera extended the Maroons’ lead with her score in the 46th minute, benefiting from a pass from senior midfielder Kelsey Moore. Sophomore Hanna Watkins added to the lead for the Maroons at the 59-minute mark, finding the back of the Athena net on a pass from junior Sydney Jones.
CMS avoided the clean-sheet when Rhiann Holman was credited with an unassisted goal off a free kick to create the game’s final 3-1 score.
The Maroons dominated play by outshooting the Athenas by a 13-5 margin, allowing just two shots on goal. Vera and senior Mia Calamari led the way with three shots each and teammate Maddie DeVoe added two shots, both on goal.
CMS won the advantage in corner kicks, 7-4.
Maroons’ sophomore keeper Katie Donovan picked up the win after playing 68 minutes in goal, with classmate Sydney Jones preserving the win in the final 22.
Messiah and Stevens spent 20 extra minutes on the field Friday night but neither team could put one into the back of the net in a scoreless draw to open the 2017 season.
The Falcons outshot the Ducks 21-6. Much of the first half was played in the midfield, though Messiah had the better hold on territory and also a 14-5 edge in shots.
Stevens keeper Lindsey Mahnken made three saves in the first half, but it wasn’t until the second period and overtime that Messiah really made her work. Ellie Lengacher came within inches of a goal in the 47th minute when she stepped through two defenders in the box for a clear look on the frame. Her quick shot from eight yards out went to the right post, but Mahnken dove and tipped it outside the post for a corner.
Messiah had two corners in the final minutes and finished with a 10-2 advantage in the category.
Despite not scoring, the Falcons limited the Stevens’ chances from start to finish. The Ducks pressed hard at times but managed to just put three shots on goal. Sara Yunez made three saves, and the back row including Sarah Strachan, Skylar Ulry, Lydia Eichorn, and Barb Foster all made big plays.
A pair of seniors posted goals for Brandeis against MIT, but the Judges couldn’t hold off the Engineer offense and suffered a 3-2 defeat in the season opener for both teams.
Brandeis opened the game quickly when senior Samantha Schwartz notched her 22nd career goal in the eighth minute on a shot from the top of the 18 yard line.
MIT answered with the next two goals when Maya Nielan scored in the 23rd minute with a rebound of a header by Hailey Nichols followed by Montana Reilly’s tally in the 35th minute.
Brandeis found an equalizer on their first shot of the second half in the 55th minute, when senior Haliana Burhans buried a cross from junior Sasha Sunday for her eighth career goal.
The Engineers scored the decisive goal in the 65th minute when Nichols knocked in her own rebound of a blocked shot.
MIT kept Brandeis at bay the rest of the way, with a Schwartz shot in the 81st minute stopped by Engineer netminder Lily Mueller.