KANSAS CITY, MO. -- The high-powered Centre College women's soccer team is Williams' opponent today in a national semifinal game slated for 2:30 p.m. EST at Swope Park. It will be the first meeting between the two institutions in women's soccer.
The Colonels (21-1-1) come into today's semifinals having scored 69 goals in its 23 games while the Ephs (19-1-2) have allowed only 11 over their 22 games. That sets the tone for what type of game it may be today.
"Centre is a very organized and disciplined team with incredibly dangerous attacking players," Williams' head coach Michelyne Pinard said. "We need to continue to defend with all 11, stay tough in our 1 v 1 battles and when we win the ball, we'll be looking to transition quickly and attack dynamically and quickly."
Centre is making its first NCAA Division III Tournament semifinal appearance in 2015. The Colonels are making their fifth consecutive NCAA postseason appearance and sixth overall in program history.
The Colonels have won 13 straight games coming into Friday's game. Centre set a new program record with 21 wins following a 4-0 victory over Calvin in the Sectional Final.
The Ephs have won seven straight games coming into today's contest and are playing in the national semifinals for the fourth time overall and the third time since 2008. Last season was the first 20-win season in the history of Williams women's soccer. The Ephs defeated Johns Hopkins 1-0 in the semifinal and played Lynchburg to a scoreless draw through 110 minutes, falling 4-3 in PKs in the national championship game.
The Colonels' attack is led by junior forward Destinie Graves, who paces the Colonels with 26 goals this season, good for a tie for eighth in the country coming into the Final Four. Senior forward Alex Combs ranks second on the team with 13 goals on the season, followed by sophomore forward Nancy Ingham with 12 scores.
Defensively, the Colonels have posted 15 shutouts on the season and have allowed more than one goal in a game just four times. SAA Defensive Player of the Year Tori Dillard, senior defender Shelby Ratcliff, junior defender Shannon Murray, and sophomore defender Mackenzie Kern along with junior goalkeeper Olivia Alford lead the Centre defensive unit that has allowed just one goal in the last 11 games.
Offensively, the Ephs have mustered 47 goals in 22 games. Juniors Kristi Kirshe and Audrey Thomas both have 12 goals, while Kirshe has nine assists and Thomas four. Senior Crystal Lewin has four goals, two in the postseason, and first-year Kristina Alvarado has four goals, also with two in the postseason.
Junior keeper Tressa Palcheck has a 0.43 goals against average in just over 1,900 minutes this season and a .880 save percentage. Senior co-captain Zoe Trutner anchors the backline in front of Palcheck, and First Team All-American Mai Mitsuyama and Maddie Swarr are key components in the midfield.
Williams has outscored its opponents 15-4 in seven postseason games thus far.