WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – Junior Emily Richard (Fremont, N.H.) scored the game's only goal in the 51st minute and sophomore Micaela Robinson (Goshen, N.Y.) made four saves to record her single season record 10th shutout as the Wentworth Institute of Technology women's soccer team defeated No. 21/23 Arcadia, 1-0, in the opening round of the 2016 NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Tournament at Williams College.
The Leopards, who beat a nationally ranked team for the first time in program history, were playing in their first-ever NCAA Tournament game and improve to 16-3-3 on the season after running their win streak to four and unbeaten streak to eight (7-0-1). The Knights see their season come a close with a 17-4-0 record. Wentworth will face host Williams on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. The defending national champion Ephs (16-0-2) defeated Elms, 3-0, in the first game of the day.
Both teams had opportunities to get on the board in the early going; however neither was able to convert many of the opportunities into quality scoring chances. Senior Amanda Weinberger (Colchester, Conn.) and freshman Sidney Brogan (Los Angeles, Calif.) each put shots on target in a span of three minutes to provide the Leopards with a pair of chances.
In the 32nd minute, junior Kayla Haberbosch (Allentown, Pa.) went in alone for a shot; however her attempt sailed over the top right corner of the net. Late in the half junior Tara Smith (Babylon, N.Y.) had a pair of attempts with the first being saved by Robinson and the second going wide of the net. Arcadia had a 17-6 shot advantage through the first 45 minutes; however Wentworth had three shots on net as opposed to the Knights' two.
Wentworth controlled play from the outset in the second half and Weinberger would put a shot on net in the 49th minute which was saved by sophomore Evelyn Feigeles (Westhampton, N.J.). With the Leopards maintaining possession in Arcadia's end, the Black & Gold continued to look for a quality scoring chance. The Knights intercepted the possession; however a misclear landed at the foot of Richard who fired a low shot to the right side, past Feigeles, for her eighth marker of the season.
In the 58th minute Haberbosch had a chance to tie the game, however her shot sailed wide. With just over 10 minutes remaining in the contest, Richard went in on a breakaway with a chance to add an insurance tally but the play was broken up by an Arcadia defender who came into the play from behind. Arcadia would have one last chance late in the game; however Robinson came up with the ball to help seal the win.
Robinson's 10th solo shutout breaks the mark of nine, which was set by Diane Piersall during the 2002 season. She also lowers her goal against average to 0.32 on the season. Feigeles made seven saves in the loss. Arcadia had a 23-13 shot advantage and a 4-2 advantage on corner kicks.
The women's soccer team becomes the second program in school history to win its NCAA Tournament debut, joining the men's volleyball team which accomplished this feat during the 2016 season.
Sunday's contest between Wentworth and No. 2/4 Williams will be the first-ever meeting between the two programs. The two have one common opponent from the 2016 campaign in Amherst. The Leopards lost to the Lord Jeffs, 1-0, while the Ephs and Amherst played to 1-all tie.
Game story courtesy of the Wentworth Sports Information Department.
ABOUT THE COMMONWEALTH COAST CONFERENCE
The Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), founded in 1984, is an NCAA Division III athletic conference comprised of ten full member and three associate member institutions throughout the New England region. Its membership aims to provide student-athletes with a positive experience in their pursuit of excellence through high academic standards, quality competition, and a meaningful student life. The conference currently administers championships in 16 intercollegiate sports with that number set to increase next year with the addition of football.