St. Louis, Mo., November 23, 2013 – Junior forward Lillie Toaspern recorded the second hat trick of her career to lead No. 1-ranked Washington University in St. Louis to a 3-0 win over No. 18 University of Puget Sound in the 2013 NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Sectional Semifinal Saturday at Francis Field in St. Louis.
Toaspern, who also had a hat trick in a 5-1 win vs. the University of Rochester on Oct. 28, 2011, upped her team-leading season goal total to 12 and moved into seventh in school history with 31 goals.
"We came out strong today and played with high pressure and had a bunch of opportunities with the wind in the first half," said Toaspern. "Amy (French) had some huge saves and our defense played great today."
For the first time in the NCAA Tournament this season, Washington U. scored first as the Bears found the back of the net at the 6:23 mark. WUSTL made a change of field and senior Jessica Johnson found junior Lillie Toaspern open in the box with a long pass, and Toaspern beat Puget Sound goalkeeper Casey Thayer with a shot to the near corner to make it 1-0.
Washington U.'s defense clamped down on Puget Sound's offense in the opening half, not allowing a shot on goal. The Bears outshot the Loggers 9-0 in the first half, and had a 5-1 advantage in corner kicks.
Sophomore goalkeeper Amy French was not tested in the opening half, but came up with a game-saving stop in the 49th minute after Lauren Swanson was left open in the box and fired a point-blank shot at French that she corralled.
French's save gave Washington U. added momentum, and a minute later Toaspern made it 2-0 on an assist from Johnson after a give and go. Toaspern added the insurance goal at 54:40 as she lofted a shot from 20 yards out over Puget Sound back-up keeper Lauren Thomas to round out the scoring.
Toaspern took over the team lead in scoring with 12 goals, and passed assistant coach Emma Brown (2008-11) for seventh in school history with 31 career goals. The game-winning goal for Toaspern was her fourth of the season and ninth of her career, tied for seventh most in school history.
Washington U. improved its overall record to 20-1 with the victory, setting a single-season school record for wins. Puget Sound, the champion of the Northwest Conference, had its 15-game winning streak snapped and concludes its season with a 17-3-2 record.
"Getting the lead was important as we wanted to win the first 20 minutes of play," said Washington U. head coach Jim Conlon, who picked up his 100th win in six seasons at Washington U. "Lillie (Toaspern) made some great runs and was very composed in front of the net. Her teammates did a great job of disguising some of the passes which allowed her to get into that space."
Washington U. advances to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the third-straight season and seventh time in school history. The Bears take on Capital University Sunday at 1:30 p.m. The winner of Sunday's sectional championship advances to the NCAA Division III Semifinals Friday-Saturday, Dec. 6-7, at Toyota Field in San Antonio, Texas.
Washington U. outshot Puget Sound, 19-7, and had a 9-4 advantage in corner kicks. French made five saves in the win and picked up her single-season school-record 11th shutout and tied the single-season mark with her 19th win.
Bear Notebook: Puget Sound and Washington U. also met in the 2004 NCAA Quarterfinals, a 3-0 win for Puget Sound … Washington U. is 24-11-5 in 13 all-time appearances in the NCAA Tournament … The Bears have a 17-1-1 record all-time at home in the NCAA Tournament … The 14-game winning streak is the second longest in school history … The Bears have outscored their opponents, 77-7, this season, and have posted a shutout in 16 of 21 games played.