2019 Women’s Soccer Season Recap

The 2019 CWRU Women's Soccer Team

Paced by a strong offensive attack under new head coach Jen Simonetti, the Case Western Reserve University women's soccer team posted a record-setting, banner year in 2019, reaching the NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championships for just the second time in program history.

The Spartans finished the season with a record of 13-5-1, including an 11-0-1 record in non-conference play. The 13 wins tie a program record for wins in a season with the 2011 squad. The team posted a 2-5-0 record in University Athletic Association play, its most conference wins since 2012, and finished tied for fifth, its highest finish since 2011.

With a strong campaign and No. 3 finish in the Great Lakes region, CWRU earned one of the 'Pool C' at-large bids to the NCAA tournament. The team traveled to Wheaton, Illinois for the tournament and faced The College of Wooster in the first round. After a scoreless regulation and two overtime periods, the Spartans and Fighting Scots went to a penalty shootout to determine who would advance. CWRU fell to Wooster in penalty kicks, 4-3, ending the team's historic season.

Midfielder Anika Washburn had a record-breaking campaign leading the Spartans' offense in her sophomore season. Washburn led the team with 33 points on 14 goals and five assists. The points and goals totals set single-season program records. She also set single-season program records for game-winning goals (seven) and shots on goal (36).

Washburn was selected the UAA Offensive Player of the Year, the first player in program history to earn conference offensive player of the year honors. For her efforts on the pitch and in the classroom, she was named to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America® Division III Women's Soccer Second Team with a 4.0 GPA in computer science. She is just the fifth player in the history of the women's soccer program to earn the honor. Washburn also earned selection to the United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division III All-Great Lakes Region First Team and the All-UAA First Team.

Led by Washburn, the team's offense finished the season with 46 goals, tied for the most in program history.

The Spartans started the year by blanking their first five opponents and scoring 23 goals. They continued their winning ways with victories in their next four matches to start the season 9-0 and earn the program's first top-ten ranking in the United Soccer Coaches Poll. Victories included an 8-0 win over Fredonia State and a thrilling 3-2 double overtime victory at Adrian. The squad finished regular season non-conference play with a perfect 11-0 record, a first for the program.

The team entered conference play and earned two upsets over ranked opponents. After not scoring a goal in their first three conference matches, the Spartans upset then-No. 17 Rochester (N.Y.) at home. Then, the team traveled to Chicago and upset the then-No. 12 Maroons late in the season. Though the Spartans fell to national semifinalist Carnegie Mellon in the final match of the regular season, the team still earned an at-large berth to the NCAA tournament.

In just her first collegiate season midfielder Merry Meyer, a United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division III All-Great Lakes Region Second Team selection and All-UAA Second Team selection, led the team with eight assists, the most by a first-year player since 1999. Senior forward Kimberly Chen finished second on the team with 19 points on seven goals and five assists.

Junior defender Bailey George, another All-Great Lakes Region Second Team selection, started all 19 matches and earned an All-UAA Honorable Mention, leading the Spartans' defense that allowed just 10.0 shots and 5.0 shots on goal per game and shutout seven opponents. First-year defender Laura Gorjanc and sophomore defender Kat Rebele started in all but one of the team's matches and played in all of them on the back line.

In goal, senior goalkeeper Lauren Unterborn finished her collegiate career with her best season, posting a 12-5-1 record and five individual shutouts. She saved 72 shots in 18 matches and posted 0.98 goals against average and 0.800 save percentage. Unterborn finishes her career with the second-most wins in program history (19).

In addition to Washburn, Meyer, and Chen, three other Spartans earned at least 10 points this season. In just 11 matches, sophomore forward Christina Hickson had 16 points on six goals and four assists. First-year forward Aniya Hartzler had 14 points on five goals and four assists, and first-year forward Johanna Dunkers had 11 points on five goals and an assist.

Senior defender Mary Kate Ford played in all but one of the Spartans' matches, as did first-year forward Maia Sethi.

Fifteen members of the team earned UAA All-Academic recognition with a GPA over 3.300. Those members were junior midfielder Lizzy Barna, sophomore midfielder Taylor Bova, Chen, sophomore forward Ella Copich, Ford, George, junior defender/midfielder Emily Hauser, junior goalkeeper Lauren Metz, sophomore defender/midfielder Maria Prokos, sophomore goalkeeper Jenna Ruccolo, junior defender Ali Sivilotti, Unterborn, Washburn, sophomore midfielder Molly Whelan, and sophomore defender Lizzie White. For the 16th consecutive season, the Spartans earned the United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award.

The Spartans earned the following honors during the 2019 season:

CoSIDA Academic All-America

Anika Washburn

Brookfield, Wis. / Brookfield Academy

Second Team

 

United Soccer Coaches All-Region (Great Lakes)

Anika Washburn

Brookfield, Wis. / Brookfield Academy

First Team

Merry Meyer

Maplewood, N.J. / Columbia

Second Team

Bailey George

Loveland, Ohio / Loveland

Second Team

 

All-UAA

Anika Washburn

Brookfield, Wis. / Brookfield Academy

Offensive Player of the Year; First Team

Merry Meyer

Maplewood, N.J. / Columbia

Second Team

Bailey George

Loveland, Ohio / Loveland

Honorable Mention

 

UAA Athlete of the Week

Anika Washburn

Brookfield, Wis. / Brookfield Academy

Sept. 3 (Offense), Sept. 30 (Offense), Nov. 4 (Offense)

Bailey George

Loveland, Ohio / Loveland

Sept. 9 (Defense)

 

The following were the 2019 statistical leaders for the Spartans:

Goals

Anika Washburn

14

Assists

Merry Meyer

8

Points

Anika Washburn

33

Game Winning Goals

Anika Washburn

7

Shots

Anika Washburn

63

Shots on Goal

Anika Washburn

36

Wins

Lauren Unterborn

12

Saves

Lauren Unterborn

72

Shutouts

Lauren Unterborn

5

Goals Against Average

Lauren Unterborn

0.98