On Nov. 1, the Wittenberg’s Women’s Soccer team took on Denison’s Big Red in the NCAC semifinals at Edwards-Maurer Field. The Tigers beat the Big Red 3-2 in overtime.
“It was a very gritty performance for us and a great team win overall,” Katie Robinson, head coach, said.
Then, the team followed up their semifinal win with another victory over the Kenyon College Ladies, 1-0, in the NCAC championship final.
On Wednesday, the Tigers came out with three shots taken right away from Leah Soutar, ’18, Jordyn Wright, ’18 and Taylor Vaughn-Stanton, ’19, none of which made it into the net. These shots were followed up by two corner kicks from Emily Thomas, ’19, one of which gave Megan Davis, ’19, the opportunity to flick a header at Big Red’s goal which went wide. Soutar followed it up with another shot that also went too wide for the goal.
“We knew heading into the game that emotions would be high, as they always are for tournament games,” Robinson said. “We’ve talked a lot about controlling what we can control, our work rate, our ability to back each other up on and off the field and going all in and we did that against Denison.”
The Tigers displayed this style of play Wednesday night as they worked to help each other move the ball up and down the field.
21 minutes into the game, there was a foul inside the box against Denison which gave Davis the opportunity to score off a penalty kick, making the first goal of the game and putting the Tigers ahead. Big Red decided to push back, taking two shots at the Tiger keeper, Hannah Wilson, ’19, who saved both. That night, Wilson had a total of four saves, with Big Red taking six shots on goal.
A little more than 35 minutes in, Wittenberg committed a foul which allowed Denison to take a penalty kick that tied the game. After that, Big Red took another shot at Wilson that she saved. But, when Denison took three corner kicks in a row, they got lucky and scored their second goal 39 minutes in, putting them ahead by one, and wrapping up the first half.
Coming out after halftime, the Tigers took as many shots as they could from Soutar, Kenzie Mason, ’20, Davis, Vaughn-Stanton and Shannon Brueck, ’19. The Tigers did not have a ball touch the net until the 80th minute of the game when Mason and Julia Smith, ’18, passed the ball to Kaitlyn Krieg, ’21, who gave the ball a swift kick and scored, tying the game 2-2. After that, Davis took another shot in hopes to put the Tigers ahead, but no luck. The buzzer sounded, and the game went into overtime.
Overtime consists of 10 minutes, and in that time, both Denison and Witt fought to score, both teams receiving fouls. But, in the 94th minute of the game, Soutar passed the ball to Vaughn-Stanton who tapped the ball into the back of the net. That was a wrap on the NCAC semifinals with a Tiger win.
The next step was Kenyon College on Saturday, Nov. 4.
“The girls are playing great soccer right now and we hope to continue that wave as we head to Kenyon on Saturday,” Robinson said. “Kenyon is a tough team who has had a successful year, so we are excited to go back and prove ourselves in the conference.”
Starting the game off, the Tigers took three shots, one from Soutar, one from Krieg and one from Vaughn-Stanton. 16 minutes into the game, Krieg made the first and only goal of the game with no assist, making it her fourth goal of the season.
Throughout the rest of the game, the Tigers fought hard to keep their lead, landing Soutar one of the two yellow cards for the game and the team with a total of 10 fouls.
Both Wilson and Kelly Corbin, ’20, got some time in-between the posts, making a total of three saves between the two. In the first half, the Tigers took a total of nine shots at the Kenyon keeper, but only managed the one goal.
At the end of the day, Krieg was named tournament MVP for her having the only goal of the day along with Soutar, Thomas, Wright and Mason all being named to the All-Tournament Team. Coming out of the game, this is the first time Wittenberg has won an NCAC tournament title since 2009 and it is only the fourth time in Wittenberg’s history that the Tigers have held that title.
Coming up next, the Tigers sit and wait to see where a bid on Monday, Nov. 6 will land them for their next game.