Nov. 21, 2009

BALTIMORE, MD - The Johns Hopkins women's soccer team defeated Middlebury, 1-0, in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament at Homewood Field. Erica Suter (Ellicott City, MD/River Hill) scored just 1:24 into the game. This would prove to be the game winner. This is the first time Johns Hopkins has advanced to the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament. The Blue Jays will face #1 Messiah in the Sectional Championship. Middlebury finishes their season with a record of 14-4-2.

Suter found the back of the net in the second minute of play. A pass from Sarah Roeder (Durham, NH/Oyster River) found Suter's foot just inside the 18-yard box where Suter took a shot that slipped past Middlebury goalie, junior Lauryn Torch.

Middlebury got a good look at the goal in the 15th minute of play. Paola Cabonargi had the ball on her foot inside the box but Hopkin's keeper, Karen Guszkowski (Sayreville, NJ/Cardinal McCarrick) was up to the task, with her first of two saves in the game.

In the 19th minute, junior Sarah Tankard (Clarksville, MD/River Hill) drilled a ball to the upper part of the net but Torch tipped the ball over the top of the goal.

On one of the Blue Jays' seven corners in the 27th minute, sophomore Erica Suter (Ellicott City, MD/River Hill) headed a ball off Erin Stafford's (Doylestown, PA/Villa Joseph Marie) corner. Torch was again up to the task, making one of her eight saves in the game. Torch would make one of her best saves of the day with ten minutes remaining in the half, making a diving save to her right on a shot from freshman Laura Moody.

Johns Hopkins would continue to put pressure on the Middlebury net in the second half. The Blue Jays best chance of the half came in the 53th minute. Stafford ripped a shot to the lower left corner but Torch dove and tipped the ball just wide. On the resulting corner, Torch came off her line and punched the ball out of harm's way. Torch would deflect a free kick by junior Jessica Hnatiuk (Baltimore, MD/John Carroll School) off the cross bar at 75:30.

Middlebury had its best scoring chance of the day with just two and a half minutes left in the game. Senior Anjuli Demers dribbled into the right side of the 18-yard box and took a hard shot on goal. Guszkowski made the save above her head and held on to the rebound.

Johns Hopkins outshot Middlebury 14-3 in the contest, but solid play in goal by Middlebury's Torch kept the Panthers in the game. Torch made eight saves in the match.

Guszkowski recorded her eighth shutout of the season, while making two saves.

The Blue Jays will face Messiah in the Sectional Championship. Messiah advanced by defeating Otterbein, 1-0 in double overtime, in its Sweet 16 match. Messiah senior Amanda Naeher scored the game-winning goal 4:04 into the second overtime on an assist by junior Erin Hench. Otterbein's best scoring chance came in the 76th minute on a shot by junior Hannah Fairbanks off of a corner. The ball looked like it was going to sneak inside the left post but a defensive save by Messiah's Lisa Wingard kept the ball out of the net.

The Sectional Championship, featuring Johns Hopkins and Messiah, is set to take place on Sunday, November 22 at 2:00 pm at Homewood Field, Baltimore, MD.