Nov. 12, 2010

Courtesy of Carleton Athletics

WHEATON, Ill. - The magic continues.

Lily VanderStaay (Jr./Bellingham, Wash./Bellingham) netted the equalizer in the 87th minute and played a part in the game winning goal as her overtime cross deflected off a defender, giving the Carleton College women's soccer team a 2-1 overtime victory over Augustana College (Ill.) in the opening round of the NCAA Championships.

With the Knights (15-2-2) trailing 1-0 late in regulation, VanderStaay collected a loose ball in the box and blasted a shot into the side netting. In the extra period, her cross in the 96th minute hit off defender Margaret Hoscheit and deflected into the net. That advanced Carleton into the second round, where the Knights will play a familiar nemesis - host Wheaton College - on Saturday at 6 p.m. The Thunder (17-2-1) bounced Carleton from both the 2008 and 2009 national tournaments. Knights Online will feature a live video webcast beginning at 5:45 p.m.

This was the third straight post-season game that saw Carleton pull out some late-match magic. In the semifinals of the MIAC tournament, Liz Arakaki (Sr./Seattle, Wash./Nathan Hale) punched home a shot in the final second of the first overtime, giving the Knights a 2-1 triumph over Saint Benedict. Three days later, Marlena Hartman-Filson (So./Evergreen, Colo./Colorado Academy) forced overtime with an 89th minute score against Concordia College.

Carleton had little trouble taking shots tonight, finishing with a sizeable 22-9 edge on the stat sheet, but the Knights were unable to put together many truly dangerous opportunities against a Viking defense (13-2-5) that had permitted only nine goals all season entering the NCAA Tourney. More often than not, the Carleton strikers resorted to long-range attempts, which were easily handled by the Vikings' All-American goalkeeper Kayla Radloff.

At the other end of the pitch, Beth Ashinsky (So./Mount Kisco, N.Y./Horace Greeley) played her aggressive style in net, ranging far from home to intercept balls sent over the top of the Knights' defense. In the 11th minute, she came way off her line to make back-to-back spectacular saves. She made a sprawling stop of an Erin Coulson shot from the left side, then popped up, and recorded a fantastic rejection of Jessica Dodds' rebound attempt.

Thanks to strong play by the Carleton backline tonight, Ashinsky was required to make only three saves--all in the first half. Radloff, meanwhile, was credited with a dozen stops.

Although Carleton held a slight advantage in possession, it was Coulson that got Augustana on the scoreboard in the 55th minute, fielding a through ball from Taylor Moesle and slotting home a shot behind Ashinksy, who had come out to cut down the angle.

Carleton made a formation change, putting a third forward into the lineup, and the Knights put significant pressure on the Viking backline, out-shooting Augustana 13-1 over the final 35 minutes of regulation.

With the minutes ticking away, VanderStaay stepped up to deliver the late-match heroics. After a long Carleton possession in the attacking third, it looked for a moment like the Knights would catch a break.

A Viking defender fell down and initially appeared to touch the ball in the box. However, Augustana was not whistled for a handball, and VanderStaay pounced on the loose ball, smashing the unassisted goal inside the far post for her sixth score of the year.

Building off the momentum, Arakaki nearly gave Carleton the lead moments later after a scrum in the box, but her shot was blocked by an Augustana defender.

Midway through the first overtime period, VanderStaay, collected a ball in the right corner and sent a low cross toward the middle of the box, but the ball bounced off Hoscheit and into the back of the net, surprising both teams.

This wasn't the first time VanderStaay delivered in a NCAA Tournament game played at Joe Bean Stadium. Her unassisted score gave Carleton a 1-0 victory over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in the sectional semifinals ("Sweet Sixteen" round) of the 2008 NCAA Championships.

Wheaton advanced with a 3-0 victory over Lawrence University (Wis.) in the evening's first match. The winner of tomorrow's Carleton-Wheaton matchup will face the team coming out of the Lynchburg College/Transylvania University/Emory University/Maryville College (Tenn.) pod being contested in Atlanta, Ga., on Saturday and Sunday.

NOTE: Niki Tomita's (Jr./Redwood City, Calif./Woodside) knee brace broke moments after she entered the game midway through the first half. The Knights played a person down for a few minutes while the trainers wrapped the knee. The reigning MIAC Player of the Year was eventually replaced in the lineup, but did return to play more than 30 minutes during the second half and overtime.