St. Louis, Mo., Nov. 14, 2015 – The Washington University in St. Louis men's soccer team scored three first-half goals as the Bears posted a 4-2 win over Millsaps College in the first round of the 2015 NCAA Division III Championship Saturday night at Francis Field in St. Louis.
WashU improves to 12-4-3 with the win, while Millsaps ended its season with a 14-4 mark. The Bears will take on DePauw University Sunday at 5 p.m. in the NCAA Second Round. DePauw defeated Westminster College 1-0 in the second game Saturday.
"Millsaps was a very good team and had some special players in the attack," said WashU head coach Joe Clarke, who guided the Bears to their first NCAA Tournament win since 2011. "I was very happy how we played from the opening whistle. We played fast and started confidently, and played the game we practiced."
Senior Cole Davis scored in the 21st minute when he buried a shot off a rebound from freshman Ryan Sproule. The goal for Davis was the first of his career. Just 74 seconds later, Sproule headed in a cross from sophomore Thomas Hutchings to make it 2-0. The goal for Sproule was his team-leading seventh of the season.
After a goal by Matt Crooker in the 33rd minute that trimmed the lead in half, WashU answered right back after a penalty kick by sophomore back Chris Rieger. Senior Jack West was taken down in the box to set up the penalty kick.
WashU outshot Millsaps 11-8 in the opening half.
Trailing by two goals, Millsaps picked up the play in the second half and cut the lead to 3-2 in the 64th minute after Alex Bourland scored after a misplay in the back by the WashU defense.
Rieger kept it a one-goal game in the 81st minute when he cleared a header by Taylor Hayes off the line and out of the box.
Junior Grant Baltes came up big for WashU in the 84th minute, scoring a much-needed insurance goal on a shot from inside the box to make it 4-2. The goal for Baltes was his fourth of the season.
WashU outshot Millsaps 19-16, while the Majors had an 8-6 advantage in corner kicks. Junior goalkeeper Daniel Geanon (9-3-2) made three saves and picked up the win for WashU.
BEAR NOTEBOOK: WashU has won three all-time meetings with Millsaps … The Bears are making their first NCAA appearance since 2012 and 22nd overall … WashU has a 29-20-2 (.588) record all-time in NCAA Tournament play … The Bears are 5-1-3 at home this season … The 12 wins for WashU are the most since 2011.