William Smith College will host the 2002 NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer Semifinals and Championship games on Nov. 29-30. William Smith will kick off in the first semifinal on Nov. 29, against defending national champion Ohio Wesleyan at 10 a.m., followed by Messiah College vs. Trinity (TX) University at 12:30 p.m. on William Smith Field.
The winners of the semifinal contests will play in the NCAA Championship game on Nov. 30, at noon on Cozzens Field. Ticket prices for the game are $5 for adults, $3 for students with proper ID, and $2 for children under 12.
Making its sixth appearance in the NCAA semifinals, William Smith (17-3-3) will match up against the undefeated Battling Bishops of Ohio Wesleyan University. The Herons advanced to the to round of four after beating Wheaton College in a shootout 5-4.
Scoreless at the end of 110 minutes the two teams headed to penalty kicks to decide the game. Senior Maria Paoff (East Syracuse Minoa/East Syracuse, N.Y.) netted the game winner for the Herons after the Lyons third kick sailed wide right of the goal. Outshot 19-7 in the contest, the stifling William Smith defense held the potent Wheaton offense scoreless for the first time this season. Leah Cornwell (Wheatland-Chili/Scottsville, N.Y.) made nine saves in the 110-minute contest.
Senior Alyson Stachura (Pittsford Sutherland/Pittsford, N.Y.) has paced the Heron offense with 11 goals and two assists, while Paoff has contributed eight goals and four assists. UCAA Player of the Year Kristin Falzarano (Morris Plains/Morristown, N.J.) has provided a spark to the William Smith flank attack with her seven goals and six assists.
Led by Cornwell, the backline for the Herons has been spectacular this season giving up only 13 goals in 23 games. Senior Amy Pendergast (East Syracuse-Minoa/East Syracuse, N.Y.), sophomore Jenn Tibbens (Sherburne-Earlville/Sherburne, N.Y.), and first-years Seraphine Hamilton (The Peddie School/Trenton, N.J.) and Pria Young (Council Rock/Richboro, Pa.) play well-organized and aggressive defense, giving opposing offenses fits.
Sporting an NCAA record 43-game winning streak, Ohio Wesleyan (22-0-0) has not lost since Sept. 2, 2001. The Bishops will try to become the first team successfully to defend its title since UC San Diego won three in a row from 1995-97.
OWU comes to William Smith after beating St. Thomas in the quarterfinal round 3-2 on penalty kicks. Held scoreless for the first time in 42 games, the Battling Bishops outshot the Tommies 39 to nine, but were unable to get on the scoreboard. Senior goalie Mindy Hammond (St. Francis DeSales/Columbus, Ohio) made two saves and converted her own penalty kick to lead OWU to the semifinal round.
Paced by first-year Sarah Wall (Upper Arlington/Columbus, Ohio) with 21 goals and 14 assists, the Bishop offense had scored a goal in a school record 42 consecutive games up until the St. Thomas match.
The 2001 defense of Hammond, Amy Work (South/Westerville, Ohio), Bre Cady (South/Westerville, Ohio), and Akeya Terrell (Westerville North/Gahanna, Ohio) that allowed just one goal in its five-game title run returns intact and has allowed just four goals this season and none so far in the tournament.