WHEATON, Ill. -- No. 12-ranked Washington University in St. Louis scored two goals in the final 14 minutes of play to rally for a 2-1 win against St. Benedict on Friday night in the sectional semifinal at Wheaton College. The victory for the Bears was their school-record 18th of the season.

“St. Benedict got the one opportunity and they took advantage of it,” fourth-year head coach Jim Conlon said. “The ball bounced our way on Steimle’s goal, and then Felder finished off a great ball for the game-winner.”

Trailing 1-0 and dominating play with less than 15 minute to play, the Bears mounted a comeback. Washington U. found the back on its 21st shot of the contest as sophomore Lauren Steimle scored off a rebound at the 76:23 to tie the score at 1-1. The goal for Steimle was her team-leading 11th of the season.

Eight minutes later, senior Lee Ann Felder scored possibly the biggest goal of her career as she volleyed home a corner kick from sophomore Kate Doyle to put the Bears up for good. The game-winning goal for Felder was the eighth of her career, eighth most in school history.

The Bears had three opportunities in the opening minute of play. Washington U. took the kickoff down the field and freshman Anna Zambricki got a shot off the St. Benedict goalkeeper corralled. The Bears got the ball right back and freshman Lillie Toaspern fired a shot that Favorite saved, and then junior Emily’s Gosche’s rebound was also denied.

Despite being outplayed in the opening two minutes, St. Benedict found a seam in the Bears’ defense and Heather Beshears beat junior goalkeeper Clara Jaques to make it 1-0 with just 2:40 off the clock. The goal for Beshears was her seventh of the season.

Washington U. had a golden opportunity right before halftime as senior Michelle Peterson sent a cross in to the box, that sophomore Becky Berels just sent over the crossbar. Washington University outshot St. Benedict 10-5 in the first half, with eight shots on goal.

The Bears continued to put the pressure on in the early moments of the second half, registering five of the first six shots of the half. Peterson nearly tied it at 58:02 when her shot from the far right swing just went wide left. Sophomore Jen Reed drilled a shot from 25 yards outs that Favorite just got a hand on to force a WUSTL corner kick.

“We wanted to live to play tomorrow. It’s a short turnaround and we need to get ready for a good Wheaton team,” Conlon added.
Washington University outshot St. Benedict 23-9 for the game and had a 6-0 advantage in corner kicks. Jaques made three saves in the win, the 44th of her career.