Nov. 13, 2010

* Courtesy of Otterbein Athletics

WESTERVILLE, OHIO - Third-ranked Otterbein, now 20-0-1 on the season, scored two first half goals and played to a 2-0 victory over Washington-St. Louis in the second round of the NCAA Division III women's soccer tournament Saturday afternoon at Clements Field.

Washington-St. Louis, the 2009 NCAA runner-up, ends its season at 11-8-2.

Unlike its first round match, the Cardinals struck early as senior Lindsey Rudibaugh took a centered pass from junior Adrienne Novak in the 11th minute and finished lower left to give Otterbein a quick 1-0 lead.

Novak helped push the margin to 2-0 less than five minutes later by finding her way to a loose ball in the box off a corner kick and blasting it home.

The Cards stayed poised and battled to move forward in the second half, and also fought off a pesky Bears offense to register its 19th shutout of the season.

The victory allows the Cardinals to keep its current unbeaten streak at home, as they have not lost a match at Clements Field since October of 2007.

"I think it (the streak) speaks highly of our upperclassmen," said Carter during her post-match radio interview. "There is a sense of comfort when you're playing at home, and it helps when you have a huge turnout like today."

Washington-St. Louis held a 14-10 advantage in shots, and furiously attempted three corner kicks in the final minute to hold a 7-4 edge in the category.

Clara Jaques stopped three shots for the Bears while Otterbein goalkeeper Tara Carter came up with five saves.

The victory pushes Otterbein into its third consecutive Sweet 16, having been knocked out in each of its previous two appearances.

"When we've advanced to the Sweet 16 in the past, I think we may have just been happy to get there," Carter explained. "We're hungry this year. Last season we happened to be paired up with the defending national champions, and gave them a great match, so I'm confident we can make it further this time around."

The Cards will now face either #4 Loras or Wartburg. The site, date, and time are yet to be determined.