Sports & Outdoors

The champions: Women’s soccer makes history

The University of Puget Sound’s Women’s Soccer team had an outstanding weekend. Not only did they win both of their games on Friday, Nov. 4 against Lewis and Clark and Saturday, Nov. 5 against Pacific, but they also made their mark in Logger history.

After shutting down Pacific, they officially won the Northwest Conference title for the 2011 season.  This being their 10th consecutive title, the Loggers (14-3-2, 12-2-2 NWC) extended the longest title streak in NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer.

The Loggers started the weekend off with very defensive game against the Lewis and Clark Pioneers on Friday. Sophomore Kylie Beeson (Everett, Wash.) scored the game-winning goal for the Loggers in the 12th minute. After the ball crossed into the middle of the penalty box, senior Jenny Moore (Kent, Wash.) found Beeson at the far post. Beeson managed to strike the ball low and hard in the left corner past the Pioneer goalkeeper.

“One of the things we’ve been working on all year has been high intensity pressure and not letting the ball out of the opponent’s end and really, that is what made scoring the goal possible.  The ball was played in and Christine sacrificed herself to get in the opponent’s way of winning the ball, and Jenny was right there behind her ready to pressure.  It was because of this that we were able to win the ball so close to their goal and to put it away.  Though I’m the one who shot the ball, I wouldn’t have been able to do so if not for the efforts of my teammates,” Beeson said.

Overall, the Loggers controlled possession throughout the game, and outshot the Pioneers 20-1 in the match.

“Everyone was focused and excited to play and collectively, we were able to have one of the best performances of the year,” Beeson said.

On Saturday, the Loggers shutdown the Pacific Boxers with five different players scoring to come away with a 5-0 win. Senior Mikaela Freeman (Alameda, Calif.) scored the only goal in the first half with a shot in the upper right corner just outside the penalty box.  In the second half, Beeson scored in the 47th minute for her second goal of the weekend.  The onslaught continued with senior Christine Isabella’s (Salt Lake City, Utah) goal in the 50th minute on a cross from Moore.

Assisted by Isabella, freshman Robin Vieira (Seattle, Wash.) scored the fourth goal in the 66th minute. Freshman Megan Walsh then shot the ball past the keeper in the 81st minute to give the Loggers the 5-0 shutout.

Sophomore Kara Merfeld (Bellingham, Wash.) and sophomore Casey Thayer (Boulder, Colo.) each made a save to preserve the shutout.

As the Loggers are advancing into the tournament, they will continue to focus on one game at a time.

“Now that we are advancing to the tournament, its easy to get excited and think ahead to what could happen in the future, namely, a national championship. But realistically my goal for tournament play is just to focus on one game at a time.  Each game is as important as the next and we have to come out playing our best soccer and be ready to battle each and every time we step on the field,” Beeson said.

The Loggers awaited the announcement of the NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer Championship bracket, which was released on Monday, Nov 7.  A selection show will air live on at 10:30 a.m. (PT).