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November 17, 2012

Wheaton Advances to Final Four With 3-1 Win over No. 4 Washington U.

More news about: Washington U. women's team

St. Louis, Mo., November 17, 2012 — No. 12 Wheaton College advanced to the 2012 NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Final Four with a 3-1 victory over No. 4 Washington University in St. Louis in the Sectional Championship game on Saturday night at Francis Field in St. Louis.

Wheaton improved its overall record to 21-3-2 and will make its seventh trip to the Final Four on Nov. 30-Dec. 1 in San Antonio, Texas. The Thunder takes on the winner of University Athletic Association (UAA) members No. 16 Emory and No. 17 Carnegie Mellon on Friday in the NCAA semifinals at 6 p.m.

Washington U. concludes its season with a 19-2-1 record, with both of its losses coming to Wheaton. The 19 wins by Washington U. set a single-season school record, bettering the mark of 18 set in 2011.

Wheaton outshot Washington U. 24-18 for the game, while the Bears had the 7-6 advantage in corner kicks. A very physical game saw the Bears called for 17 fouls and two yellow cards.

Wheaton took the lead at the 18:00 mark after a misclearance by the Washington U. defense. A cross was sent into the box that was headed out but on the foot of Sarah Guidera, who put it into an open net for her fourth tally of the year.

Washington U. continued to press to try and get a goal back before halftime, and at one point had an 11-6 advantage in shots. Wheaton nearly made it 2-0 four times in a one-minute span as senior goalkeeper Clara Jaques made a diving save and one shot hit the post.

With some tired Washington U. legs and playing without leading scorer Anna Zambricki, the Thunder made it 2-0 in the 42nd minute after Annie Hamilton buried a rebound off a corner kick. Wheaton recorded the final nine shots of the half and had the 15-11 advantage after 45 minutes of play. Jaques kept the Bears in the game with six saves.

The Thunder continued to pour it offensively early in the second half, and at one point had 14-straight shots. Washington U. finally found the back of the net in the 66th minute after freshman Olivia Lillegraven scored off a brilliant feed from classmate Abby Starker to make it 2-1. The goal for Lillegraven was her third of the season.

Wheaton added the insurance goal in the 79th minute when Sydney Sharkey attempted a cross that hit the post and deflected into the back of the net to make it 3-1. The goal for Sharkey was her first of the season.

Jaques tied her career-high with 12 saves in the loss. She finished her career as the most decorated goalkeeper in school history, setting the all-time school record in victories (63) and shutouts (25).

Bear Notebook: Washington U. is 22-11-5 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, while Wheaton improved to 45-9-5 … The Bears concluded the season with an 11-1-1 at home and snapped a 21-game unbeaten streak … Washington U. has made six appearances in the NCAA Quarterfinals … The Class of 2013 posted a 65-19-6 (.756) record in four seasons on the Danforth Campus with two conference titles, four NCAA Tournament appearances and a trip to the 2009 Final Four.

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