Wheaton (Ill.) 1, Puget Sound 1

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Wheaton Wins Championship on Penalty Kicks, 5-4

Greensboro, N.C. -- Freshman Bethany Barton scored the match winning penalty kick as Wheaton College (Ill.) defeated the University of Puget Sound at Macpherson Stadium on Saturday in the NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championship.

"I just tried to get it in the net," said Barton. "We practice penalties so were prepared. The whole game was great."

The game was tied 1-1 after two overtime periods. The Thunder made five penalty kicks to the Loggers four.

"It's a hard to win or lose a game," said Pete Felske, Wheaton's head coach. "We've lost the last two years on PKs, so we know how Puget Sound feels.

The championship was the first in women's soccer for WC.

UPS took the lead in the 36th minute. Elizabeth Pittman scored her sixth goal of the year on a header that was assisted by Cortney Kjar. For Wheaton, it was the first time the Thunder trailed in regulation during the season.

Wheaton knotted the game at 1-1 in the 61st minute. Mary Doleshal's fifth tally of the year was a hard shot from 20 yards out from the right side. Ashely Wiersma and Sara Johnson both earned helpers on the play.

Each team managed 15 shots in the game. Erin Williams grabbed four saves for Puget Sound. Brita Nelson notched three saves in the second half and two 10 minute overtimes. Ashley Vratil played the first half and had one save. She then played the penalty kicks phase and earned the win for the Thunder.

"That was obviously an evenly matched, great game," said Logger Head Coach Randy Hanson. "It's disappointing not to win the championship, but that doesn't diminish the season we had. This was the single best season of Puget Sound soccer. We broke just about every school record and we'll have great memories from the experience."

Wheaton Quotes:
"I couldn't pick a better scenario to come back home and win a national title in front of family and friends. This was awesome."
-Laura Koontz

"Our strategy is to just do what we normally do."
-Elizabeth Pittman on the penalty kick shoot-out

Puget Sound Quotes:
"Wheaton is a strong, athletic team. That was a good matchup."
-Bridget Stolee

"We usually attack wide and at the end line. They did a good job of stopping us there. We each had opportunities in the game."
-Cortney Kjar

-- Courtesy Greensboro College