On to Sweet 16: No. 3 Women's Soccer Tops No. 16 Thomas More 3-2 in OT
Photos by Sid Hastings
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St. Louis, Mo., November 11, 2012 — Junior forward Jessica Johnson scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner two minutes and 46 seconds into the first overtime, to lead No. 3 ranked Washington University in St. Louis to a 3-2 victory over No. 16 Thomas More College on Sunday afternoon in the second round of the 2012 NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer Championship in St. Louis.
With the rain continuing to fall on a soaked Francis Field, junior forward Lauren Steimle sprung sophomore midfielder Anna Zambricki down the flight flank, before sending a cross that Johnson buried into the back of the net for the game-winner. The goal for Johnson was her fifth of the season, and 14th of her career.
“This was the nastiest game we have played all season, fouls right and left. You couldn't even kick the ball after the rain started as the field was flooded,” said Johnson, who netted her second game-winner of the year. “We are a pass-to-feet team, and when you can't even pass the ball five yards, it changes your whole dynamic. Our whole game plan changed and we were just trying to get another goal to get to the next round."
Washington University (18-1-1) picked up its school record-tying 18th victory of the season, matching the win total from a year ago. Thomas More ends its season with a 20-2-1 record. Washington U. will host Sectional Play on Friday-Saturday, Nov. 16-17, at Francis Field. Washington U. and No. 14 Concordia College (Moorhead) will play in one semifinal at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, while No. 2 Hardin-Simmons University and No. 11 Wheaton College (Ill.) will play in the other semifinal at 3 p.m.
Zambricki was involved in all three Washington U. tallies as she scored the first goal of the game and added an assist on Johnson’s first goal. She leads the squad with 14 goals and six assists for 34 points.
Washington U. wasted no time getting on the scoreboard in the ninth minute despite going into the 30-40 mile per hour wind. A give and go pass from sophomore Lillie Toaspern to Zambricki gave the Bears the 1-0 lead. The goal for Zambricki was her team-leading 14th of the season and 24th of her career, moving into a tie for seventh place with Laura Miller (1991-94) on the Washington University all-time list. WATCH
Despite outshooting Thomas More 14-2 in the first half, Zambricki’s goal was the lone tally in the first half for the Bears. Washington U. had seven shots on goal in the first half and dominated play with a 5-1 corner kick advantage.
Johnson pushed the lead to 2-0 with a goal at the 56:08 mark as she took a pass from Zambricki and buried it from 20 yards out. Thomas More would not go away as Olivia Huber scored a pair of goals in a span of 4:55 to tie the score at 2-2. Huber buried home a cross from Courtney Clark at the 62:41 mark for her first goal, and then at 67:36 she volleyed a cross from Clark into an open net. Huber upped her team-leading goal count to 16.
Kirstie Reilman nearly gave the Saints the lead at 75:08 but her shot to the near post was cleared away by Johnson for the team save. Washington U. outshot Thomas More 14-9 in the second half but could not find the back of the net.
“There are only 16 teams left in the country when we go to bed tonight, and I'm glad we're one of them,” said Washington University head coach Jim Conlon. “The conditions were terrible, just terrible. We've been playing in tough weather all season long, but today was brutal because it started nice and then it blew in and then the winds changed. So if you had any tactical awareness you had to deal with that, and we've never seen this field puddle like that.”
Senior goalkeeper Clara Jaques made a pair of saves and picked up her single-season record-tying 18th win of the year. Abbie McBride made 11 saves in the loss for Thomas More.
Washington U. had the 32-11 advantage in shots, including a 4-0 advantage in the overtime. The two teams combined for 41 fouls and Thomas More received five yellow cards.
Bear Notebook: Washington U. is 21-10-5 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, while Thomas More is 1-3 … Washington U. and Thomas More met for the second time in school history – the Bears defeated the Saints 2-0 in the NCAA First Round in 2011 … Washington U. improved to 10-0-1 this season at home and is unbeaten in its last 20 games at Francis Field.