Kansas City, Mo., Dec. 5, 2015 – The No. 4-ranked Washington University in St. Louis women's soccer team had its magical season come to an end with a 1-0 loss to No. 6 Williams College in the 2015 NCAA Division III National Championship match Saturday at the Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City.
WashU concluded its season with a 20-3-1 record, tying a single-season school record for wins in a season. Williams, who captured its first women's soccer national title in school history, finished with a 21-2-2 record.
Junior forward Katie Chandler, junior goalkeeper Lizzy Crist, senior midfielder Olivia Lillegraven and junior back Megan Nicklay Named to All-Tournament Team. Crist was named the NCAA Championship Most Outstanding Defensive Player making 12 saves in the two games.
"I am so proud of these girls. We put together a heck of a season," said WashU head coach Jim Conlon. "We tip our hats to Williams, who played very well today."
The Bears had the wind at their back in the opening half and nearly took the lead two minutes in after a header by Chandler was cleared off the line by Hanna Kaeser that went off the crossbar and out of play. In the fifth minute, Chandler shot from 20 yards out that went off the crossbar and remained in play.
WashU continued to keep the pressure on the Williams defense, and sophomore Rachel Mickelson had a breakaway and sent a shot wide left in the seventh minute. The Bears had the opening four shots of the contest.
It was Williams that struck first in the 42nd minute when a long run by Crystal Lewin resulted in a goal by Kristina Alvarado after a shot inside the box beat Crist to the far corner. The goal for Alvarado was her eighth of the season.
WashU outshot Williams 9-5 in the opening half, but only put one on target.
With the wind in the second half, Williams outshot WashU 9-2 in the opening 15 minutes of play. Crist made five saves in that stretch.
The Ephs has its best scoring opportunity of the second half in the 68th minute when Lewin fired a shot from the left wing that went of the crossbar. On the counter attack, Chandler got some space but her shot from 25 yards out sailed wide left.
WashU outshot Williams 16-15, and had a 4-1 advantage in corner kicks.
"I was hoping we would get an opportunity in front of the net and capitalize on it," said Crist. "There was a lot of passion, fight and grit, and I think our team battled to the last second. I am proud of them for doing that."
WashU's senior class (Liz Collins, Sam Ezratty, Amy French, Lillegraven, Sade Odumuye, Anna Sippel, Abby Starker) concluded their four-year career as the winningest in school history with a 72-10-6 (.852) overall record.
"A special thank you to Bear Nation. They have been unbelievable supporters all year," added Conlon. "I am extremely proud of this team, and we are proud to be bringing home the national runner-up trophy to Washington University."
BEAR NOTEBOOK: WashU and Williams met for the first time in school history … Conlon coached his 500th career game as a college soccer coach … The Bears were 7-2-1 against ranked teams in 2015 … WashU was making its second national championship appearance (2009, 2015) … The Bears have a 28-13-7 overall record in 15 NCAA Tournament appearances … Williams lost in the championship game in 2014 – 4-3 in penalty kicks to Lynchburg.