ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Junior forward Jessica Johnson scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner two minutes into the first overtime, to lead Washington (Mo.) to a 3-2 victory against No. 16 Thomas More on Sunday in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Junior forward Lauren Steimle sent a cross that Johnson buried into the back of the net for the game-winner. The goal was Johnson’s fifth of the season and 14th of her career.
“This was the nastiest game we have played all season, fouls right and left. You couldn’t even kick the ball after the rain started as the field was flooded,” Johnson said. “We are a pass-to-feet team, and when you can’t even pass the ball five yards, it changes your whole dynamic. Our whole game plan changed and we were just trying to get another goal to get to the next round.”
Washington (18-1-1) picked up its school record-tying 18th victory of the season, matching the win total from a year ago. Thomas More ends its season with a 20-2-1 record. Washington advances to the semifinals for a consecutive season and will take on the winner of Concordia-Moorhead versus California Lutheran on Friday.
Zambricki was involved in all three Washington U. goals as she scored the first goal of the game and added an assist on Johnson’s first goal. She leads the squad with 14 goals and six assists for 34 points.
Washington U. wasted no time getting on the scoreboard. A give-and-go pass from sophomore Lillie Toaspern to Zambricki gave the Bears the 1-0 lead. The goal for Zambricki was her team-leading 14th of the season and 24th of her career, moving into a tie for seventh place with Laura Miller (1991-94) on the Washington all-time list.
Despite outshooting Thomas More 14-2 in the first half, Zambricki’s goal was the lone score in the first half for the Bears. Washington U. had seven shots on goal in the first half and dominated play with a 5-1 corner kick advantage.
Johnson pushed the lead to 2-0 with a goal at the 56:08 mark as she took a pass from Zambricki and buried it from 20 yards out. Thomas More fired back as Olivia Huber scored a pair of goals in a span of 4:55 to tie the score at two. Huber buried home a cross from Courtney Clark at the 62:41 mark for her first goal, and then at 67:36 she volleyed a cross from Clark into an open net. Huber upped her team-leading goal count to 16.
Washington U. outshot Thomas More 14-9 in the second half but could not find the back of the net.
“There are only 16 teams left in the country when we go to bed [Sunday], and I’m glad we’re one of them,” Washington head coach Jim Conlon said. “The conditions were terrible, just terrible. We’ve been playing in tough weather all season long, but [Sunday] was brutal because it started nice and then it blew in and then the winds changed. So if you had any tactical awareness you had to deal with that, and we’ve never seen this field puddle like that.”
Senior goalkeeper Clara Jaques made a pair of saves and picked up her single-season record-tying 18th win of the year. Abbie McBride made 11 saves in the loss for Thomas More.
Washington U. had the 32-11 advantage in shots, including a 4-0 advantage in the overtime. The two teams combined for 41 fouls and Thomas More received five yellow cards.