Ephs head to Greensboro for national semifinals — Tickets/Video Link

Gabby Woodson '09
Gabby Woodson '09

The City of Greensboro, North Carolina and Greensboro College are hosting the NCAA Division III Men's and Women's Soccer Championships the first weekend in December with the men's games preceding the women's contests each day.

NCAA Division III National Semifinals & Finals

December 5-6, 2008
Macpherson Stadium at Bryan Park
Greensboro, North Carolina
Host: Greensboro College
Hosted by Greensboro College and the City of Greensboro

December 5
5:00 PM – Williams (19-0-1) vs. Wheaton (IL) (21-3-2)
7:30 PM – William Smith (16-1-5) vs. Messiah (22-0-2)

December 6
5:00 PM -- Friday's winners meet for NCAA title

Daily Ticket Prices: (available at venue on game days only): $15 general admission; $10 senior citizens/students/military (all with proper identification; $5 ages 3-12; Children age 2 and under are free. Note: Admission fees cover each day.

Link to NCAA video webcast of Ephs vs. Wheaton – make sure you have downloaded Silverlight.2.0(2).dmg ahead of time

Through the efforts of Will Slack '11 the Friday game may be seen on the large screen in the Great Hall of the Paresky Student Center Friday, December 5th at 5:00 PM.

Three of the four teams remaining in the NCAA Division III women's soccer championship are from the northeast quadrant of the nation – Williams, William Smith and Messiah. The fourth team in the national semifinals is Wheaton College (IL), which won the 2007 NCAA title and has won three of the last four titles.

The lone title to escape the Thunder in the last four years (2005) was captured by Messiah College.

Wheaton (IL) (21-3-2/5-2 CCIW Champions) capped a perfect 2007 season (27-0-0) with a 1-0 win over Messiah to claim the NCAA title. The 27 wins by the Thunder is an NCAA Division III record.

Wheaton head coach Pete Felske is in his 21st season at Wheaton and guided the Thunder to the NCAA title in 2004, 2006 and 2007. He is 325-86-20 (.835) entering Friday's contest versus the Ephs. His is a 1988 graduate of Wheaton and played on the Thunder men's team that won the 1984 NCAA title.

Wheaton has appeared in 12 NCAA Tournaments and has an overall record of 31-7-3.

How the Thunder advanced to the national semifinals:
1st Round:  defeated Carroll (WI) 3-0
2nd Round:  0-0 tie with Wisc. Eau Claire (Wheaton advanced via a 3-1 PK shootout win)
Sectional Semifinal:  defeated Washington Univ. (MO) 3-0
Sectional Final:  defeated Carleton 2-1

Wheaton has outscored its opponents 103-21 on the year with junior forward Taryne Lee providing much of the fireworks. Lee has netted 29 goals and assisted on 12 for 70 points. First year forward Ali Kopelman has scored 14 goals and also has assisted on a dozen, while senior midfielder Kari Klynstra has contributed 10 goals and has six assists.

Wheaton also holds a decisive advantage over its opponents in corner kicks, 198-64. Sophomore goalie Ingrid Erickson has appeared in 24 games and played 1,786 minutes. Erickson has allowed 15 goals, posted a goals against average of 0.76. She has made 42 saves for a .737 save percentage and has recorded four shutouts.

Williams (19-0-1/8-0-1 NESCAC Champions)
has set a school record for wins in a season and captured a second consecutive NESCAC title (a conference first). Head coach Michelyne Pinard's Ephs are now 36-1-1 in their last 38 contests.

Pinard is in her seventh season at the helm of the Ephs and has posted a record of 83-22-15 (.754) heading into Wheaton contest. Pinard, a 1998 graduate of Dartmouth, was an assistant coach at Middlebury and Penn before arriving at Williams.

Small world department: Aliceann Wilber, the head coach of William Smith, was Michelyne Pinard's Under 14 Olympic Development Program coach.

The Ephs are making their 10th appearance in the NCAA tourney and sport an overall record of 10-8-4. This is the second time the Ephs have advanced to the national semifinals, having hosted in 1999 when they finished third.

Keying the Eph attack are senior forward Gabby Woodson (14g, 8a), junior forward Brianna Wolfson (11g, 9a) and sophomore midfielder Sara Wild (9g, 4a).

Junior keeper Lauren Sinnenberg has posted a 0.47 goals against average in 1,533 of play. Sinnenberg has allowed eight goals this fall and has recorded 50 saves in compiling a save percentage of .862. She is 16-0-1 on the year and has nine shutouts.

Williams has out scored the opposition 55-10 this season and has the advantage in corner kicks 98 to 48.

Williams was one of three seeded teams in the Division III tournament and received a first round bye.

How the Ephs advanced to the national semifinals:
2nd Round:  defeated Husson 3-0
Sectional Semifinals:  defeated TCNJ 2-1
Sectional Finals:  defeated Ithaca 2-0

William Smith (16-1-5/6-0-1 Liberty Champions) head coach Aliceann Wilber is the only coach the Herons have ever had. Now in her 29th season Wilber has posted a record of 389-114-45 (.751) entering the national semifinals and she led the Herons to the 1998 NCAA title. Wilber is the first woman to receive the NSCAA’s prestigious Bill Jeffrey Award (2003) for outstanding achievement and longtime dedication to college soccer.

William Smith is playing in its 19th NCAA Tournament and the Herons have compiled a record of 28-15-2. The Herons finished second in 1987 and 1997.

Sophomore forward Brelynn Nasypany is the Herons' top goal scorer with 15. Nasypany also has five assists to top the team with 35 points. First year forward Kate Redmond has scored five goals and assisted on three, while junior midfielder Katelyn Tyson has four goals and two assists.

First year goalie Amanda Davis has played in 19 games (1,595 minutes) and has allowed five goals. Her goals against average is 0.28 and she has notched 58 saves for a .921 save percentage. Davis is 10-0-5 and has nine shutouts this season.

William Smith has out scored the opposition by a margin of 38 to 10 and they have a corner kick advantage of 136-62.

How the Herons advanced to the national semifinals:
1st Round:  defeated Keuka 2-0
2nd Round:  1-1 tie with Endicott  (Herons win PK shootout 4-3)
Sectional Semifinals:  defeated Johns Hopkins, 3-1
Sectional Finals: defeated Amherst, 1-0 (2OT)

Messiah (22-0-2/6-0-0 MAC Commonwealth Champions)
head coach Scott Frey is in his ninth year at Messiah and has directed the Falcons to a record of 178-12-10 (.915) entering Friday's contest vs. William Smith. Frey's Falcons won the 2005 NCAA title and lost in the championship tilt last fall to Wheaton (IL).

Frey, a 1984 graduate of Messiah, was an assistant men's coach at Messiah and head men's coach at Alma (MI) before returning to Messiah to direct the women's program.
Messiah is playing in its ninth NCAA Tournament and the Falcons have fashioned a record of 22-6-4.

The Falcons' junior midfielder Amanda Naeher has had an impressive season to date scoring 32 goals and assisting on six for a total of 70 points. Naeher's goal total is just six shy of William Smith's team total of 38.

Adding even more firepower up front for Messiah is sophomore forward Erin Hench and senior forward Rachel Horning. Hench has scored 19 times and she has assisted on 15 goals, while Horning has tallied seven goals and has contributed 14 assists.

Senior goalie Brindley Beckwith has played in 24 games this season and has logged 2,019 minutes. Beckwith has allowed just nine goals and has made 36 saves. Her goals against average is 0.40 and her save percentage is .800. Beckwith has a record of 20-0-2 and has eight shutouts.

The Falcons have scored 111 goals on the year and have allowed 9 and they have a decisive advantage in corner kicks, 191 to 29.

Messiah was one of three seeded teams in the Division III tournament and received a first round bye.

How the Falcons advanced to the national semifinals:
2nd Round:  defeated Washington & Jefferson 6-0
Sectional Semifinals:  defeated Univ. Chicago 4-1
Sectional Finals:  defeated Eastern 2-0