Women’s soccer secures Sweet 16 spot

Last Monday, Nov. 18, the women’s soccer team played in Bloomington, IL where they defeated Augustana College and Illinois Wesleyan University in first and second round play. The game had been postponed from Sunday, Nov. 17, due to poor weather conditions.

“Due to the conditions we definitely weren’t able to be in our normal rhythm. However, we saw a different side to the team. We saw a group who fought and battled for the victory,” said assistant coach Owen Collie.

The Tigers took down Augustana 3-1. Augustana got on the board first in the 27th minute, before the Tigers rattled off three consecutive goals.

Against Illinois Wesleyan, the Titans struck first when Tillie Bill scored in the 73rd minute, and then nine minutes laters, in the 82nd minute, the Tigers leveled the score with a goal from junior Emily Jorgens. The game then went to double overtime, but since no goals were scored in either overtime, the game went into penalty kicks.

First to the spot was Sydney Fox of IWU, who made their first shot, then junior Shelby Hopkins leveled the score at 1-1. Next, IWU made their second shot and senior Michelle Lanier tied up the score once again at 2-2. On the third round of penalty kicks, IWU’s Alex Partipillo had her shot blocked by junior keeper Devan Osegueda and then first-year Yasmeen Farra put her shot away which put the Tigers up 3-2. In the fourth round of kicks, both Mary Kate Schmidt of IWU and sophomore Kimberly Polasek made their attempts to bring the score to 4-3. For the final round of kicks, IWU’s Ashley Montijo stepped up to the spot and scored, bringing the total to 4-4, but the Tigers won when Jorgens buried her shot to put the Tigers past IWU at 5-4.

The team attributes their success to a strong will to win and the penalty save by Osegueda.

“Our determination to win the game and our confidence in ourselves contributed to a successful performance. I was very confident in our team’s ability to win the game. We had been dominating throughout the game so I believed we were going to win. Devan, our keeper, made a fantastic save in penalty kicks which ended up being the decisive factor,” Jorgens said.

Overall, the team was happy with the win and feels that they are on the right track so far.

“It just felt like it was the right thing. It felt like we were gonna win. It wouldn’t have felt right if we lost, it didn’t feel like our time to go home,” said first-year Jordan Leeper.

The win advances the Tigers to the Sweet 16 for the first time since the 2011 season and are looking to win their first national championship.

The women play No. 5 Montclair State University (Neb.) in the third round at home, today at 5 p.m. Montclair State has not lost a game on the season with a 20-0-1 record.

“We want to play to our potential and dominate throughout the game. We hope to bring a lot of energy to the field and put the pressure on them. Since it is an elimination game, the result is extremely important, but I am confident that we will win if we play our game,” Jorgens said.

The winner of the game today will play either Illinois Wheaton or Emory University, tomorrow at 6 p.m. at home.