After beating Knox College on Friday, Nov. 10 and beating Loras College on Saturday Nov. 11, the Wheaton Women’s Soccer team has advanced to the NCAA Division III semifinals.
It did not take long for the Thunder to score as freshman forward Izzy Oliver shot a through ball on the right side off of an assist from senior Morgan Whitman.
Later in the first half, Oliver would put Wheaton up 2-0 in the final seconds of the period after she blocked a back pass.
Wheaton continued to put pressure on Knox College all throughout the second half with seven corner kicks, five more shots and keeping Knox to only one shot.
The game was more physical than most of Wheaton’s games, and each team had nine fouls during the game. Knox season thus ended with a final win-lose-tie record of 14-6-2. With a win on day one, the Thunder advanced to Saturday’s game against the hosting team of Loras College.
“Going into Loras, we knew we would need to play at a higher level and start faster than we did against Knox,” senior goaltender Kathryn McGregor said,
Loras put up a strong fight against Wheaton, but ultimately, they could never recover from an early 1-0 put up by a goal blasted from 30 yards out by freshman Carney Blake. Blake scored the first goal in the regular season finale against Hope in late October.
Both teams kept pressure on the goalies throughout the game with 17 shots by Wheaton and 14 shots by Loras. In contrast, Loras only had one shot on goal which McGregor saved, making Saturday’s win her 11 shutout she’s started.
Wheaton had eight fouls and five corner kicks. With a win against Loras, Wheaton advanced to the NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer semifinals.
“Coming away with two wins was an awesome feeling, and we are thankful to still be playing,” McGregor said.
The Thunder will play the University of Chicago’s women’s team on Friday, Nov. 17 at 11 a.m. at the University of Chicago. The United Soccer Coaches ranked UChicago as the fourth best team in DIII women’s soccer in its most recent poll. On that same list, Wheaton was ranked 18th.
“We are focusing on playing disciplined defense against their experienced squad and hoping to keep the pace of the game fast and wide open to give our forwards the opportunity to finish some goals,” McGregor said.
These team teams met during the regular season and UChicago, in which UChicago won 2-1. Oliver scored the only goal of that game, and she is on a shortlist of four other players who were able to get past either one of UChicago’s goalies so far this season.