1999 Women's Soccer - Tigers blank Capital 3-0 in NCAA first-round game; advance to face unbeaten Ohio Wesleyan
GREENCASTLE, IND. — The Tigers came ready to play in their NCAA first-round game against visiting Capital University. Perhaps it was memories from the juniors and seniors of the program's first NCAA appearance two years ago when they dominated play against Denison but lost. Whatever the reason, the Tigers came up big on Wednesday and earned a 3-0 win over the Crusaders.
The hosts, now 15-2-2 overall and 10-0-2 at Boswell Field, dominated play in the first half and had just one goal to show for it, but they delivered the knockout blows in the second half to advance to the second round where they will face the 19-0 Ohio Wesleyan Battling Bishops on Friday night at 7:30 p.m.
Capital, now 15-5-1, controlled play over the first five minutes before the Tigers unleashed a relentless assault over the final 40 minutes of the first half on the way to outshooting the Crusaders 18-3 in the first half.
After failing to connect on a series of shots, the Tigers broke through with junior Beth Walse's 15th goal of the season on classmate Kristi Merrill's ninth assist at the 19:15 mark.
A 1-0 lead may be precarious in soccer, but for the Tigers it's meant nothing but wins in 14 games this season. The Tigers rank third in Division III in team defense and getting the early advantage would play a key part in the victory.
"I thought after the first five minutes we seemed to control the match a little bit," DePauw coach John Carter said. "We had lots of opportunities to score and unfortunately we didn't score on most of those."
The second half was played in the midfield early on before freshman Michelle Aymond got behind the defense and pushed ahead for the Tigers' second goal in the 66th minute on junior Christina Matteucci's third assist on the year. The goal was Aymond's 15th of the year which is four more than Merrill had two years ago when she set the DePauw rookie record.
"In the second half we came out very well at the start and got some good chances and finally scored the second goal," Carter added. "After that goal, though, we backed off a bit and that allowed Capital to come at us a little bit and they were starting to push people forward a lot and we got in the standing-around mode."
That allowed Capital some opportunities, but the Tigers have been solid defensively all year and held off their second-half charges.
"With them pushing forward we could take advantage of our speed and get behind them," Carter added.
The Tigers did just that and sophomore Renae Rogers delivered her first goal of the season with just under four minutes left to seal the victory. Walse assisted for her ninth of the season.
"I thought we played pretty well, Carter said. "Capital's a very good team. Their keeper played well and they played pretty well defensively."
Capital earned a spot in the tournament by winning the Ohio Athletic Conference tournament last weekend after going unbeaten through the conference regular season. They entered the game on a nine-game win streak and with two of the top goal scorers that they've faced in Joey Hayes (21 goals) and Leslie Starbuck (16 goals). However, the Tigers limited the Crusaders to only four shots over the 90 minutes.
Carter was pleased with the Tigers' performance, but knows that his squad will have to pick it up a notch in the next round on Friday.
"Overall I thought it was a good performance," Carter said. "I think we can play better and we'll need to play better against Ohio Wesleyan."
NOTES: The win was the Tigers' 15th of the season which breaks the previous single-season record of 14 set in 1992 and 1995 … Senior goalkeeper Erica Henrich had two saves and ranks third in Division III with a 0.26 goals against average (prior to today's game) … The shutout was DePauw's 16th of the season as they continue to build upon their school record … DePauw has trailed for only 112 of the 1,770 minutes this season … Beth Walse has scored at least one point in six straight games and in 10 of her last 11 … Michelle Aymond has scored at least one point in 10 of her last 12 games … DePauw will make its first-ever appearance against Ohio Wesleyan.