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Washington Women’s Soccer Moves on to Final Four in Kansas City

Washington Women’s Soccer Moves on to Final Four in Kansas City

From Washington University Athletics

The No. 4-ranked Washington University in St. Louis women's soccer team advanced to the NCAA Division III Semifinals with a 1-0 win over No. 23 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Sunday in the sectional championship held at Francis Field in St. Louis.

WashU makes its first NCAA Semifinal appearance since 2009, and for the third time in school history. The Bears take on No. 1-ranked Messiah College (22-0-2) in the semifinals Friday, Dec. 4, at 11 a.m., at the Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, Mo.

"I am just excited for all of these girls that have put together an exciting 2015 season so far," said WashU head coach Jim Conlon. "We are proud to represent Bear Nation at the Final Four."

WashU improved its overall record to 20-2 with the victory, tying the single-season school record. UW-Whitewater end sits season with a 20-5 mark.

The Bears outshot UW-Whitewater 23-4, and had a 6-4 advantage in corner kicks. WashU tied the single-season school record with their 16th shutout of the season. The Bears have not allowed a goal in 752 minutes played, a span of eight games, and have allowed just one goal in the last 13 contests.

"Its incredible and very exciting. We have worked so hard all season long," said senior Sam Ezratty. "We knew we had something special, and its very rewarding to have all the hard work pay off."

WashU dominated UW-Whitewater in the opening half with a 10-0 advantage, recording five shots on goal. Senior Olivia Lillegraven had the first chance to score for WashU in the 16thminute after her shot from 35 yards out went off the crossbar.

Junior Katie Chandler sent a header wide in the 31st minute, and then freshman Jessica Kovach fired a shot that UW-Whitewater goalkeeper Erin Doody corralled in the 37th minute.

WashU broke the tie in the 41st minute after scoring an own goal. Senior Anna Sippel played a through ball to senior Liz Collins, who made a move before a UW-Whitewater defender attempted to clear the ball over the end line and it trickled off the post and into the back of the net.

"Liz Collins made a great hustle play to create the opportunity," added Conlon.

WashU outshot UW-Whitewater 13-4 in the second half, as Doody made five saves to keep it a one-goal game.

Junior goalkeeper Lizzy Crist (18-2) played all 90 minutes for WashU and made one save. The shutout for Crist was her 11th of the season, tied for most in a single season in school history.

"Our defense has been great this entire season. They communicate well in the back and making sure the defense starts up top," said Lillegraven. "Our team wanted this game and everyone on the field worked hard for every ball."

BEAR NOTEBOOK: WashU has won both all-time meetings with UW-Whitewater … The Bears have a 28-12-6 (.674) overall record in 15 NCAA Tournament appearances … WashU was 11-0 at home this season … The Bears are 7-1 against ranked teams in 2015 … The Final Four appearance for WashU is its 63rd all-time across all sports.