November 9, 2009
2009 Season - Vikings to host Albion in NCAA first round
ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – After setting a school-record for wins, capturing its first CCIW championship with a perfect 7-0 record and winning the conference tournament with a pair of wins this week, coach Scott Mejia’s 18-1-1 women's soccer team got more good news today. The NCAA has released the pairings for the upcoming Division III tournament and Augustana will be hosting first and second round games. The Vikings will face Albion (9-4-6) in the first round Saturday, November 14, at 5:00 p.m. with Wisconsin-Stevens Point (15-3-1) taking on St. Thomas (13-5-1) in the second opening round match at 7:30 p.m. The winners will meet on Sunday, November 15, at 6:00 p.m. Ticket prices are $6.00 for adults, $3.00 for seniors, students and military personnel, and $2.00 for children ages 3-12.
Augustana earned the CCIW’s automatic bid to the NCAA’s by winning this week’s conference tournament. The Vikings pounded Millikin 5-0 in the semifinals and defeated Illinois Wesleyan 1-0 in Wednesday’s championship. Caitlin Winkelman’s (St. Charles North HS, St. Charles, Ill.) goal and a big save by Kayla Radloff (West Chicago HS, West Chicago, Ill.) on an IWU penalty kick keyed the championship victory.
The Vikings are 1-1-1 all-time in NCAA tournament action. Playing at Wheaton in 2005, they played Wisconsin-Eau Claire to a 0-0 tie, but it was the Blugolds who advanced on penalty kicks. In 2006, it was Eau Claire hosting and after defeating Grinnell 2-1 in the first round, the Vikings fell to the hosts by a 4-0 score.
This year’s first round opponent, Albion, will be making its fourth NCAA tournament appearance. The Britons come in with a 9-4-6 record and finished tied for fifth in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association’s regular season. They won the MIAA tournament with a shootout win over Kalamazoo (after a 0-0 tie) in the championship game. Senior forward Ali Oatley leads the Britons with seven goals and five assists for a team-high 19 points. Senior keeper Caitlin Bowman has played all but 61 minutes in goal this year and has a 9-4-6 record with 11 shutouts. Her goals against average is 0.60 and she’s recorded a save percentage of .885. Briton head coach Lisa Roschek is in her 12th season at Albion with a record of 136-72-20.
The St. Thomas Tommies and Wisconsin-Stevens Point Pointers will face off in Saturday’s other first round match. The Tommies come in 13-5-1 and are making their ninth NCAA appearance. St. Thomas was runner-up in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, which advanced four teams to the NCAA tournament. Head coach Sheila McGill is 37-13-7 in her third season at St. Thomas. The Tommies are led in scoring by senior Erin Sprangers, who has nine goals and three assists this season. Three players have each seen significant playing time in goal and have combined for a 0.72 GAA and .849 save percentage.
Stevens Point head coach Sheila Miech is 335-106-29 in 23 seasons including a remarkable 123-7-7 in Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference competition. The Pointers won both the regular season and tournament titles in the WIAC this year. The team is led in scoring by freshman Kirsti Nickels (15 goals and nine assists), senior Jackie Spees (10 and eight) and junior Vicki Bieschke (nine and three). Junior goalkeeper Liz Hunter is 15-3-1 with 11 shutouts, a 0.52 GAA and an .872 save percentage.
Augustana enters NCAA play at 18-1-1 having used a balanced offensive attack and a suffocating defense. Sophomore forward Erin Coulson (Neuqua Valley HS, Naperville, Ill.), who’s currently battling injuries, leads the team with 11 goals and 23 points. Freshman midfielder Taylor Moesle (Carl Sandburg HS, Orland Park, Ill.) is right behind with 22 points on eight goals and six assists. Sophomore midfielder Winkelman (eight goals, three assists, 19 points), senior forward Katie Oakes (Wheaton North HS, Wheaton, Ill.) (8-2-18), sophomore forward Ashley Higuchi (Smoky Hill HS, Aurora, Colo.) (6-4-16) and senior defender Lauren Polock (Wheaton North HS, Wheaton, Ill.) (3-9-15) are each in double figures in total points as well.
The defense has been spearheaded by Polock, sophomore Megan Mummert (Crawfordsville HS, Crawfordsville, Ind.) and senior Anna Carey (Wheaton-Warrenville South HS, Warrenville, Ill.) as well as Radloff, who’s 17-1-1 with 10 shutouts, a 0.48 GAA and an .836 save percentage.
A TEAM FOR THE RECORD BOOKS: While this year’s team has achieved a new school record for wins, several individuals have moved up the single-season and career lists as well. Lauren Polock’s nine assists in 2009 are a new school record, surpassing the previous mark of eight held by Polock (twice) and Yvonne Gagliano (1994). Kayla Radloff’s 17 wins have bettered the previous school record of 14 set by Keri Hess in 2006. Erin Coulson’s 11 goals this year tie her for 10th on the single-season list with teammate Jessica Dodds’ (Linn-Mar HS, Marion, Iowa) 2008 total. On the career lists, Polock now has a school-record 32 assists, nearly double the second-place total of 17 by Katie Oakes, Gagliano (1994-97) and Emily Olson (2003-06). Oakes now ranks fourth in both career goals scored and total points with 32 and 81, respectively and Polock has moved into a tie for sixth place in total points with 62. Coulson, with 19 career goals, now ranks ninth on Augustana’s all-time list.