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Skylar Rolstad | | December 4, 2014

DIII Preview: Semifinals feature rematch

  Lynchburg comes into the national semifinals undefeated on the year.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The NCAA Division III women’s soccer championships are set to determine which team plays for the national title at Swope Soccer Village.

The first match begins Friday, Dec. 5, at 6 p.m. ET with Lynchburg facing Illinois Wesleyan. Following that game, Williams will play against Johns Hopkins at 8:30 p.m. ET.

Undefeated in the regular season, Lynchburg stormed through the first three games of the tournament having only given up one goal and recording 4-0 and 4-1 wins against Salem and Stevenson. The team went through to the semifinals with a win against Messiah, a team that has won the Division III championship five times in the past nine years.

Lynchburg’s Angela Bosco is the highest-scoring player currently competing in the tournament. Her 29 goals this season makes her the eighth-highest scorer in Division III women’s soccer.

The ninth top scorer is her teammate, Dessi Dupuy, with 28. Dupuy’s two-goal performance against Montclair State move the team to the quarterfinals, where it upset Messiah in penalty kicks.

Illinois Wesleyan advanced to the semifinals having overcome Chicago and Centre in close matches. The team has given up seven goals to Lynchburg’s two in this tournament but has scored eleven goals, equaling Lynchburg’s scoring total.

“We’ve heard nothing but great things about Lynchburg,” Illinois Wesleyan head coach David Barrett said. “They are very well-organized and well-coached. We know we’re going to have our work cut out for us.”

Lynchburg came into the tournament with an 18-6-1 record in the regular season.

The second semifinal features a rematch of last season’s tournament, when Johns Hopkins sent Williams home with a 2-1 win in the third round.

“A lot of times we’re competing for the same student-athletes. I’m sure that there will be a few on their roster that I was recruiting,” Johns Hopkins head coach Leo Weil said.

  Johns Hopkins is in its first semifinal.
Williams head coach Michelyne Pinard offered her thoughts on the game and the chance to avenge a loss in the 2013 tournament.

“We’re two teams that like to attack so it will be an exciting game for the fans,” Pinard said. “Our goal is to slow down their attack as much as we can and get behind them as much as we can. It’s great to be developing this rivalry with them.”

Johns Hopkins advanced to the Final Four with big wins against Farmingdale State and SUNY Geneseo. A 1-0 win against Thomas More sealed the team’s spot in the semifinal. This is the first time in school history that Johns Hopkins has made the women’s Division III semifinal.

“I’ve been doing this for a quite a while. I think I’d be very disappointed if I had never made it to the final four. So it’s important in that sense but we’re not just excited to be there,” Weil said. “It’s been our goal for the last seven or eight years to win a national championship and we’re two games away from that.”

Williams earned a 1-0 win in the quarterfinal against TCNJ. The team has only given up three goals in its tournament run.

“Each and every game we’ve had to solve a different problem. Each team has presented different problems that we needed to solve,” Pinard said. “We’re doing a great job with our problem-solving and it’s served us well.”

After the two finalists for the NCAA Division III women’s soccer tournament are determined on Friday., the championship match will take place at 6:30 p.m. ET on Dec. 6.