CAMBRIDGE, MA – The Western Connecticut State University women's soccer team fell to 17th-ranked Middlebury College in the NCAA Division III National Tournament first round hosted by M.I.T on Saturday afternoon. With the loss, the Colonials stellar season comes to an end at 17-2-2 overall, while the Panthers improved to 12-3-2 and advanced to the second round where they will meet No. 13 M.I.T. Sunday at 1 p.m.
"Despite the loss today, we put together a great season. I'm disappointed for our seniors and that we didn't continue this journey, but wish the best of luck to Middlebury," said WestConn head coach Alex Harrison following the season ending defeat.
Both teams had chances, but the crossbar got in the way. In the 20th minute, Middlebury's Eliza Van Voorhis (Mattapoisett, Mass.) ricocheted one off of it, while Virginia Charman (Wenham., MA) followed with one of her own in the 33rd minute. WestConn nearly took a 1-0 lead with 13-seconds left on the first half clock, but once again the shot found the crossbar and not the net.
As time was winding down in regulation, Clare Robinson (Davidson, N.C.) sent the ball across the field to Alex Barber (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.), who played the ball on one touch directly to Charman as she fired the ball into the upper left corner of the net with 6:06 remaining. For Charman, it was her sixth goal of the season as the Panthers advanced to the second round for the second straight season.
The Colonials made one final push at an equalizer and senior Autumn Sorice (Bethel, CT) had a chance to do just that, but her shot with 4:23 to play rattled off the crossbar and back into play.
Alwang stopped the ball five times to improve to 10-3-2 for Middlebury, while Jillian Fernandez (Columbia, CT) was handed her first loss of the season (14-1-1) finishing with eight saves for WestConn.