#21 Women’s Soccer Ends Season in PKs in NCAA First Round

The Spartans huddle on the field during the team's NCAA game against Wooster.

On a chilly Friday afternoon at Joe Bean Stadium in Wheaton, Illinois, The College of Wooster advanced over the 21st-ranked Case Western Reserve University women's soccer team 4-3 in penalty kicks in the first round of the 2019 NCAA Women's Soccer Championships after a scoreless double overtime match.

The Fighting Scots (14-2-4) will face host Wheaton (Ill.) College tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. The Thunder defeated Webster University 3-0 earlier in the day to advance to the round of 32. The penalty kick shootout marks the end of the season for the Spartans.

In the penalty kick shootout, senior goalkeeper Lauren Unterborn saved the first shot, allowing the Spartans to take an early lead. However, the Scots converted the rest of their kicks, and the Spartans could not match on their final two, with junior goalkeeper Molly Hutter saving the fourth shot and the final shot hitting the post.

Despite the score line, the Spartans dominated possession throughout the match, outshooting the Scots 26-7 with an 11-4 advantage in shots on goal.

Case Western Reserve could not break through against the Wooster defense, which has not allowed a goal since October 12.

The Spartans' best chance of the first half came in the 29th minute on a counterattack, when first-year midfielder Johanna Dunkers found sophomore forward Christina Hickson in the box. However, her one-time shot went wide.

Despite starting the second half with three shots on goal, the Spartans still could not break the deadlock. Dunkers nearly had a goal in the 78th minute, hitting the crossbar on a shot from outside the box.

In a preview of the shootout, Hutter saved a penalty kick in the 81st minute to keep the game scoreless. In the 107th minute, the Spartans had their best chance in either of the overtime periods. First-year forward Aniya Hartzler's shot from outside the box hit the crossbar. Hutter then saved another shot on the back post to push the match to penalty kicks.

Dunkers finished the match with a team-leading six shots. Senior forward Kimberly Chen was among the 10 Spartans to land a shot on goal, leading the team with two. Unterborn tallied four saves in the contest and notched her fifth shutout of the season.

The Spartans end one of the best seasons in program history with a record of 13-5-1 under first-year Head Coach Jen Simonetti. The 13 wins tie a CWRU women's soccer record, while the team's 46 goals set a new program record.