ST. LOUIS -- Top-ranked Washington (Mo.) scored five unanswered goals after trailing 2-0 in the opening 12 minutes of play as the Bears posted a 5-2 win against St. Norbert in the first round of the NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer Championship on Friday night at Francis Field.
Senior Kate Doyle scored two goals in the win for Washington U., and senior Becky Berels added a goal and an assist to take over the team lead with 26 points. Junior Anna Zambricki also added a goal and an assist in the win.
“When you start the postseason, everyone is 0-0. I thought the girls did a good job,” said sixth-year head coach Jim Conlon, who is two wins shy of 100 in his Washington U. career. “Not the start we were looking for, but clearly the composure that we expect out of them and what they have demanded out of themselves.”
Washington U. improved its overall record to 18-1 with the victory, the second-most wins in school history. The school record for wins in a single season is 19, set in 2012. The Bears take on No. 19 Calvin College at 6 p.m. ET Saturday in the NCAA second round.
Washington U. had the first two shots of the game, but it was St. Norbert who struck first in the ninth minute on its first shot of the game. Katie Vanden Avond received a pass from Shannon Jung on the left wing and snuck a left-footed shot by Washington U. sophomore goalkeeper Amy French to make it 1-0. The goal for Vanden Avond was her NCAA-best 37th of the season.
Just three minutes later, the Green Knights capitalized on a corner kick as Kaitlin Schmitz made it 2-0 at 11:49. Elly Wiebusch took the corner kick that was flicked by Zoe Kurth onto the foot of Schmitz. The goal for Schmitz was her eighth of the season.
Washington U. tied the game with a pair of goals less than four minutes apart. Doyle headed home a cross from Berels at 18:35, and then Zambricki finished a cross from junior Lillie Toaspern at 22:10. The goal for Doyle was her seventh of the year, while Zambricki’s was her eighth.
“It was a little bit shocking at first,” Doyle said. “Our team, though, is tough mentally and physically and we just had to come together. We have put in more than two goals on most teams this season. We weren’t really worried about it.”
The Bears had a 13-3 advantage in shots in the first half, with St. Norbert scoring on its first two opportunities in the game. Washington U. also had five corners in the first half, while St. Norbert scored a goal on one of its two corners in the half. St. Norbert goalkeeper Sarah Platzer had seven saves in the first half.
Washington U. dominated the opening 10 minutes of the second half, and took the lead for good at 51:29 after Berels curled a left-footed shot around the post to make it 3-2. The goal for Berels was her seventh of the season.
The Bears put the game out of reach with a pair of goals 19 seconds apart to make it 5-2. Doyle scored off a give-and-go with Zambricki at 76:52, and then freshman Katie Chandler added an insurance goal on an assist from sophomore Anna Sippel at 77:11 to round out the scoring.
Washington U. outshot St. Norbert 37-6 and had an 11-2 advantage in corner kicks. French made one save in 85 minutes played in goal, while freshman Lizzy Crist played the final five minutes.
Platzer made 13 saves in the loss for St. Norbert, which ended its season with a 14-5-2 record. The Green Knights were making their first NCAA appearance after winning the Midwest Conference championship.