Loras Falls To Wheaton In NCAA Regional
Courtesy: Loras Athletics
The Loras College women's soccer team decided they were going to go right after the host Wheaton Thunder – who were 4-1 winners over the Duhawks in the regular season – on Saturday's regional final in suburban Chicago.
That game plan was off to a tremendous start as Loras took the first three shots of the game over the first eight minutes of the first half. They eventually opened the scoring in the 23rd minute when Lynn DeVriese took an Ailish Rispin pass and knocked it past the Thunder goalkeeper.
The lead was relatively short-lived as the hosts answered just seven minutes later. Bailey Wysocki was on the receiving end of a cross to even things up. Then, as the first half was winding down, the Thunder took their first lead of the game. In the 42nd minute, another cross was nearly out of bounds before being kept in and sent in front of the Loras goal. Ally Witt capped off the scoring chance with her eighth goal of the year.
Although the Duhawks pushed the pace in the first half, the Thunder were able to earn seven first half corner kicks and took 10 shots of their own. Hannah Wilson made four first half saves.
As the second half began, the visitors continued to try and find an equalizer, but it would be the hosts who scored next. Wheaton's third and final corner kick of the second half found the head of Sarah Frey to make it 3-1 in the 76th minute.
With time running out, the Duhawks had already changed their goalkeeper and committed players forward when the Thunder struck for their third goal. The final 14 minutes included much of the same. Loras forced Kelsey Graham to make two saves in the three minutes immediately following Wheaton's third goal. With 3:28 to play in the game, Danielle Vujovic pulled the trigger and beat Graham to make it 3-2 and continue the Duhawks' push to extend the game.
Vujovic's shot would be the last one the Duhawks would take as the hosts claimed the regional victory and Sweet 16 spot. Loras' ended their season at 18-4-1. It also meant the careers of Jackie Tumberger, Lynn DeVriese, Kinsey Campbell, Megan Kittleson, Sarah Trump, and Madeline Tennant came to an end. The senior class went their whole careers without a loss to an IIAC foe (42 games) and won 77 games over their careers.