Nov. 20, 2010

Courtesy of Denison Athletics

For the second time in program history the Denison women's soccer team has reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament. With the scored tied 1-1 after 110 minutes of play, the Big Red punched their ticket to the Elite 8 by edging Wisconsin-Stevens Point in penalty kicks (5-4).

With the win, Denison will face a familiar foe in Sunday's grudge-match from the Rock Bowl in Dubuque, Iowa. No. 3 Otterbein (22-0-2) secured their first-ever berth in the NCAA quarterfinals after battling No. 4 Loras to a scoreless tie. The Cards went on to defeat the host Duhawks 3-1 in penalty kicks. DU and Otterbein are both in search of their school's first women's soccer NCAA Final Four appearance. The two squads take the field on Sunday (Nov. 21) at 1 p.m. CST.

Both Denison and Stevens Point saw quality scoring chances in the opening 45 minutes of play. In the fourth minute of action, Vicki Bieschke redirected a crossing pass, but her header went wide left of the goal.

Midway through the opening half senior Jen Clemmer (Hixson, Tenn./The Baylor School) received a pass inside the 18-yard box. Clemmer worked her way past the Pointer defender and ripped a shot from the left side from roughly 13 yards out. The senior's attempt bounced off the right post and was eventually scooped up by Stevens Point keeper Liz Hunter.

Over the final 7+ minutes of the first period DU goalkeeper Andrea Karl (Powell, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty) and the Big Red backline stood strong as the Pointers applied some late period pressure. In the 41st minute, Karl made an impressive jumping save on a shot by Carly Falk to keep the match scoreless heading into the intermission.

At the break, UW-Stevens Point held a 9-6 advantage in shots, including a 3-2 edge in shots on goal.

At 49:37, the Big Red had a chance to break the 0-0 tie when senior Maggie Hoskin (Chicago, Ill./Homewood-Flossmoor) found a streaking Clemmer. However, the Hixson, Tenn. native's shot was blocked out of bounds by a UWSP defender.

After 164 minutes of scoreless soccer, senior Kimmi Oshita (Cincinnati, Ohio/Sycamore) scored the first goal of the day and her 11th of the season. Oshita found herself one-on-one with Hunter after settling a pass from Clemmer. From the left side of the penalty box, the senior fired a shot past the Stevens Point keeper and into the upper right 90 from 10 yards out.

Looking to increase their lead, first-year Libbie Randolph (Hardyville, Va./Christchurch School) had two opportunities to double the Big Red's lead in the 76th minute, but back-to-back saves by Hunter on the rookie forward kept it a one-goal affair.

At 80:01, it appeared Clemmer headed in an insurance goal for Denison, however, DU had their third score in as many matches nullified by an offside call.

With 1:04 left in the Pointers' tournament life, Bieschke finally broke through the DU defense and buried a shot into the lower left corner. Bieschke's eighth goal of the year sent the match into overtime.

Following a defensive miscue by the Big Red, Angela Gallow almost ended the match in the second minute of the first overtime, but Karl came up with a big save as she punched the ball over crossbar.

Off a free kick from 38 yards out with roughly 20 seconds left in the second extra session, Andrea Peiffer one-timed a shot right in front of the goal, but once again Karl was there to keep the ball out of the net and force the second shootout of the day.

After each team scored in the first round of the shootout, Karl came up with arguably the biggest play of the match. The freshman from Powell, Ohio made the only save of the shootout as she stopped Falk's shot towards the lower right corner in the second round of PKs.

Following the save by Karl, rookie Claire Hamilton (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie) came off the bench and put the Big Red up 2-1 after two rounds. DU received the bid to the round of eight after both teams converted on their final three attempts of the shootout.

The Pointers outshot DU 20-14 and held a 7-3 advantage in corners. Karl and Hunter finished the match with seven saves each, while Clemmer and Bieschke each fired six shots to pace their respective teams.