Release courtesy of Dominican University athletics communications
WESTERVILLE, Ohio --- The Dominican University women's soccer team saw a historic season come to an end on Friday evening with a 2-1 loss to the Otterbein University Cardinals in the opening round of the 2018 NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championship tournament. The Stars close out the season 18-3-0 overall, setting the program record for wins (18), goals against average (0.38) and shutouts (16).
"What we've been able to accomplish together this year is amazing," commented Carlos Carrillo, the Stars' fifth-year head coach. "I'm so proud of our team and thankful for our seniors and what they have contributed to our program. They will be missed dearly."
After an even first half that saw the sides trade possession and attempt six shots apiece, the Stars took a 1-0 lead in the 62nd minute when senior Tania Paez gained the endline on the right side before centering a pass for Josseline Williams near the penalty spot and Williams buried the shot for her 27th goal of the season and 71st of her career.
The Cardinals then threw everything forward, looking for the equalizer and finally breaking through in the 74th minute. After a Dominican turnover near the center circle, Otterbein chipped a ball over the Stars' back line that Myiah Kelley was able to get on the end of before taking a touch to get off a right-footed shot that beat Abbey Brown.
Otterbein played with the momentum through the next five minutes, having a goal taken off the board on an offside call before knocking in the go-ahead goal in the 79th minute when Annie Howell's pass along the top of the six-yard box made its way to Delaney Earl who beat Brown to the near post for the game-winner.
Dominican was outshot for the first time all season, getting off eight shots to the Cardinals 17. Shots favored Otterbein 9-8 when Dominican scored, but the Stars were forced to defend for much of the final 25 minutes while Otterbein got off nine shots, putting six on frame.
Brown made six saves for Dominican in the losing effort while Otterbein's Erin Gordon collected four saves.
Williams managed a game-high five shots, putting two on goal, for Dominican.
After twenty seasons without a national tournament appearance, the Dominican University women's soccer team saw their season come to an end in the NCAA Division III national tournament opening round for the second consecutive season.
"It was a good game," said Carrillo. "Otterbein was everything we saw on video, strong and physical, and they did a good job getting forward. I thought we did some nice things as well."
"Getting to the national tournament is step one for this program," Carrillo added. "We were more comfortable this year. This is such a great experience for us…we have such a young team and we will be back here again. I am excited about our future with all the youth we have."
"I am very thankful for all the support we have received from our department of athletics and the entire university."