Nov. 13, 2009

Courtesy of Ohio Northern

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Freshman Tara Tokar scored a goal in the No. 19 Ohio Northern women's soccer team's first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championship, but the Polar Bears fell to Wittenberg 3-1 Friday afternoonin the First Round at Zuidema Field.

Northern ends its season at 15-5-1, while the Tigers are now 12-4-5.

Wittenberg got one goal in the first half and two in the second half before Tokar found the back of the net to get the Polar Bears on the board.

Tokar's goal came off an attempted clear from a Wittenberg defender that went straight up in the air. She came in from the top of the box to head the ball in the upper half of the goal.

Junior Natalie White had a nice opportunity in just the fourth minute of action.

Tokar centered a pass to senior Angie Pisut who then delivered the ball to White. Her shot from the right side of the box was a rocket that sailed just high.

Wittenberg got on the board at 23:01 mark on a put back by Meredith Kirby.

Kailey Striebel took the initial shot, but Northern keeper Kristen DeWees made a fantastic diving save. Kirby was right there to put the ball in the back of the net off the rebound.

Northern had another great chance with just under 12 minutes to go in the first half when Kaitlin Sanders dribbled the ball to the end line before centering the ball to a waiting Christina Spinaris. The effort from Spinaris missed just left of the goal.

The Polar Bears continued to apply pressure just four minutes later when Alyssa Merrick beat a Wittenberg defender one-on-one and fired a shot from 30 yards out that traveled high of the goal.

Erin McLeish then scored in the 52nd minute from deep on the left side on a free kick that looped over DeWees in the top right corner to put Wittenberg up 2-0.

Ohio Northern had a chance with just under 29 minutes remaining in the game. Sanders delivered a corner kick into the box that Chelsea Albert headed over the net.

The Tigers tacked on their third goal of the contest with 24:43 remaining on a corner kick from Maureen Buckley that Striebel headed into the net.

Wittenberg will advance to the Second Round tomorrow at 1 pm to play the winner of Calvin (Mich.) and Washington & Jefferson (Pa.).