2014 NCAA Tournament
Women's Soccer First and Second Round
Saturday, November 15
Sunday, November 16
NCAA Women's Soccer Digital Tournament Program
Williams (17-1-1) 2, Lasell 0 (17-5)
Ithaca (15-3-1) 3, Springfield 1 (13-4-4)
Williams (18-1-1) 4 vs. Ithaca (15-4-1) 1
(Williams advances to NCAA Third Round)
WILLIAMSTOWN, MA -- The Williams College women's soccer team will begin its quest for a national championship when it hosts the first and second round of the 2014 NCAA Div. III Tournament Saturday and Sunday on Cole Field.
The first game Saturday at 11 A.M. features Lasell (17-4) versus Williams (16-1-1). Springfield (13-3-4) will battle Ithaca (14-3-1) in the second game at 1:30 p.m.
Saturday's winners will meet Sunday at 1 p.m. back on Cole Field for the right to advance to the third round of the tournament.
Here's a closer look at the teams:
The Ephs are making their 16th NCAA Tournament appearance and eighth straight - garnering an at-large berth after falling to Conn. College 4-3 in penalty kicks in the NESCAC Tournament championship Sunday.
The Ephs have outscored opponents 48-7 thus far in 2014 and are 12-0-1 in their last 13 games.
Sophomore forwards Kristi Kirshe and Audrey Thomas and junior midfielder Mai Mitsuyama were named First Team All-NESCAC while senior defender Lilly Wellenbach, senior goalkeeper Hannah Van Wetter and senior back/midfielder Alison Magruder were all Second Team All-NESCAC selections.
Kirshe and Thomas each have 12 goals this season, tied for both the conference and team lead. Kirshe has 28 points due to four assists and Thomas 26 thanks to two assists. Mitsuyama is a critical part of the Ephs' possession attack. She excels in all areas of the pitch.
Wellenbach, Van Wetter and Magruder have all been instrumental in the Ephs' allowing 0.39 goals a game this season. Van Wetter's 0.44 GAA leads the NESCAC and her .851 save percentage is third in the conference. Magruder, the Ephs' leading scorer a year ago, spent much of the season fortifying the Ephs in the back, but has moved up to the midfield recently and had 9 (3 goals, 3 assists) on the season.
The Lasers are making their fifth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament and enter the tourney on a 13-game win streak. Lasell defeated Emmanuel College 6-1 in the conference tournament championship game.
Lasell had six All-GNAC selections for the 2014 season. Seniors Bridget Lynch and Kayla Lynch were named to the conference First Team, sophomores Megan Cullen, Devon Day and Mackenzie Kingman were placed on the Second Team, and senior Molly Masiero was named on the Third Team.
Bridget Lynch additionally clinched Tournament Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year, after leading the conference with 32 goals and 12 assists. With 76 points on the year, she has collected 223 total career points. The Dover, N.H. native goes into the NCAA Tournament opener with 98 career goals.
The Bombers are making their 25th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and 12th consecutive. They were co-champions of Empire 8 with Nazareth College and are 6-1-1 in their last eight games.
The Bombers are led offensively by junior Kelsey King, who paces Ithaca with 12 goals and 29 points. Fellow junior Sarah Woychick ranks second on the Bombers with seven goals, combining with three assists for 17 points. Sophomore Holly Niemiec is third on the team with 13 points, coming on three goals and seven assists.
Junior goalkeeper Beth Coppolecchia has started every game for Ithaca this season, giving her a record of 14-3-1. She's earned 10 individual shutouts, and has combined with Ithaca's other goalkeepers for 11 scoreless contests this season. She has an impressive .56 goals-against-average, and a .863 save percentage.
Springfield won its third-straight New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship with a 2-1 victory over Wheaton College this past weekend, earning the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. It is the Pride 8th NCAA Tournament appearance and fifth consecutive.
Senior defender and co-captain Kelly Haines and junior midfielder Brooke Hattinger were named First Team All-Conference, while junior forward Nicole Fowler, junior midfielder Jessica Miller and freshman midfielder Dakota Kelly were all Second Team All-Conference selections.
Haines was the backbone of the Pride's back line, as the senior was instrumental in holding opponents to just .71 goals per game. Hattinger started all 20 games for the Pride this season, registered seven goals, five of which were off of direct free-kicks.
Fowler is atop the leaderboard in both points and goals for the Pride as she has 26 points including 10 goals and six assists. Fowler also has a team-high five game-winning goals in 2014. Millermade the transition to forward early in the season, and currently ranks first overall on the team in assists with 10. Kelly has posted 10 points, including three goals and four assists thus far.