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December 1, 2005

2005 WOMEN'S SOCCER REVIEW

School record setting season ends with first ever NCAA Division III tournament berth for Vikings in 15-4-1 campaign

 

A defense that just did not make things easy for opponents combined with just enough offense proved to be just the ticket for success during the 2005 women’s soccer season for the Augustana Vikings. After being on the verge of a significant breakthrough over the past few years, head coach Scott Mejia’s team made a huge statement this past fall.

 

Over the past three years the Vikings had a combined record of 36-20-5 overall and were 11-7-3 in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin. Solid seasons, to be sure, but all that was eclipsed in 2005 when the Blue & Gold put together a school record 15-4-1 mark and made history by being invited to play in the NCAA Division III national tournament for the first time.

 

Augustana went 15-4 in the regular season and 5-2 in the CCIW, finishing in third place in the league standings. The Vikings lost in the first round of the conference tournament to Illinois Wesleyan by a score of 3-1 in the semi-finals. Certain that their season had ended, Mejia and his team got a pleasant surprise on Monday, November 6 when the NCAA announced its 60 team field for the national tournament. The Vikings, ranked eighth in the Central Region by year’s end, were chosen to head to Wheaton, Illinois to participate in a four team first-round tournament that would include the host Thunder, Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Webster University.

 

A first round matchup with Wisconsin-Eau Claire, ranked third in the region and 25th in the nation, was the task for Mejia’s team. The aura of participating on the national stage didn’t seem to affect the Vikings as they played the Blu-Golds to a 0-0 double overtime tie. There has to be advancement in tournament play, however, so the match went to a shootout format. Even though the game officially ended in a tie, Wisconsin-Eau Claire advanced by virtue of a 4-3 edge in penalty kicks.

 

Despite that disappointment, it was a year to be treasured as six school records fell during the course of 2005. The 15 victories broke the old mark of 13 set in 2002 and the 10 consecutive wins between September 27 and October 29 took down the existing record of seven, also set in 2002. The .775 winning percentage erased the mark of .684 set in 2004 when the team went 12-5-2. The 13 shutouts broke the 2004 mark of 12 and the 0.64 goals-against-average eclipsed the 2004 record of 0.77. In addition, senior Betsy Knawa (Carl Sandburg HS, Orland Park, Ill.) established a new career record for shutouts with 34.

 

One thing that Mejia has stressed since he took over the reigns of the program prior to the 2001 season has been defense and the 2005 team played it about as well as anyone. With senior Knawa and sophomore Keri Hess (Schaumburg HS, Schaumburg, Ill.) sharing the goalkeeping duties, the Vikings gave up a total of just 13 goals in 20 games (1,820 minutes) for a goals-against-average of 0.64. Knawa shook off some injuries early in the season to play in 17 games and she logged the most minutes (1,145:17) and allowed nine goals for a 0.71 goals-against-average while recording 55 saves. Hess saw action in 14 games (674:43 minutes) and gave up just four goals for a 0.53 goals-against-average. Between then they were responsible for Augustana recording a school record 13 shutouts throughout the season, breaking the previous mark set by the 2004 team.

 

It was a season that started with four straight victories, all of them shutouts. Then came three losses in the next four matches but all of them were to ranked opponents (4-0 to 18th ranked Loras on September 14, 2-1 to 24th ranked Illinois Wesleyan on September 17 and 1-0 at number seven Wheaton on September 23. Following that loss to Wheaton the Vikings were 5-3 but would not lose again until falling to Illinois Wesleyan 3-1 in the CCIW tournament on November 1. There would be 10 straight victories in that month long streak, including eight by shutout.

 

While the defense stole most of the headlines, sophomore Tessa Roberts (St. Charles North HS, St. Charles, Ill.) quietly put together an outstanding season as she led the team in scoring with 14 goals and two assists for 30 total points. Her 14 goals ties her for the fifth highest single season total in school history, matching the 14 from Eileen McMahon back in 1995. In just two seasons, Roberts has scored 21 goals and notched three assists for 45 total points. She is now in seventh place on the school’s career goal scored list with 21 and eighth in total points with 45. Freshman Teresa Crudele (Wheaton North HS, Winfield, Ill.) was second on the team in scoring with six goals and seven assists for 19 points and Nicci Bosco (Vernon Hills HS, Vernon Hills, Ill.) added six goals and no assists for 12 points. Bosco, a junior, now has 23 goals in her career and two assists for 48 total points. She has moved into fifth place on the career goals scored list and sixth in total points.

 

Knawa, Bosco, Roberts and senior defensive stalwart Betsy Fritz (Woodstock HS, Woodstock, Ill.)  were all named first team all-conference in the CCIW at the end of the year. Knawa and Bosco were both repeat selections on the first team while Fritz moved up to the first team after two consecutive years as a second team pick. Roberts was named to the all-conference team for the first time.

 

Senior defender Anne Gajewski (York HS, Elmhurst, Ill.) was selected first team academic all-district by ESPN – The Magazine. A three time all-conference selection during her career, she is a biology major with a 3.74 grade point average.

 

2005 COLLEGE CONFERENCE OF ILLINOIS & WISCONSIN

Final Season Standings

 

 

CCIW

 

 

 

 

 

ALL

 

 

 

 

 

TEAM

W

L

T

.PCT

GF

GA

W

L

T

.PCT

GF

GA

Wheaton

7

0

0

1.000

38

1

21

3

0

.875

79

16

Illinois Wesleyan

5

2

0

.714

14

6

13

7

1

.643

43

20

AUGUSTANA

5

2

0

.714

16

4

15

4

1

.775

47

13

Carthage

4

2

1

.643

10

6

10

6

3

.605

36

15

Elmhurst

3

3

1

.500

8

12

5

13

1

.289

17

34

North Park

2

5

0

.286

6

21

12

7

1

.625

57

30

Millikin

1

6

0

.143

2

22

6

12

0

.333

37

43

North Central

0

7

0

.000

0

22

7

11

0

.389

26

35

 

2005 CCIW TOURNAMENT

CHAMPIONSHIP: Wheaton 4, Illinois Weslelyan 0 on 11/04/05

SEMI-FINAL: Wheaton 1, Carthage 0 on 11/01/05

SEMI-FINAL: Illinois Wesleyan 3, Augustana 1 on 11/01/05

 

2005 AUGUSTANA WOMEN’S SOCCER SUPERLATIVES

NCAA DIVISION III NATIONAL TOURNAMENT PARTICIPANT: First time in school history

NCAA DIVISION III CENTRAL FINAL END OF SEASON REGIONAL RANKING: Eighth – highest in school history

CCIW FIRST TEAM ALL-CONFERENCE: Betsy Knawa (GK)…Nicci Bosco (MF)…Tessa Roberts (F)…Betsy Fritz (D)

CCIW ACADEMIC ALL-CONFERENCE: Nicci Bosco, Anne Gajewski, Keri Hess, Betsy Knawa, Cody Koehler, Emily Olson

ESPN – THE MAGAZINE ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT: Anne Gajewski

SCHOOL RECORD TEAM VICTORIES IN SINGLE SEASON: 15, breaking old record of 13 in 2002

SCHOOL RECORD CONSECUTIVE WINS: 10, breaking old record of seven in 2002

SCHOOL RECORD WINNING PERCENTAGE: .775, breaking old record of .684 (12-5-2) in 2004

SCHOOL RECORD TEAM SHUTOUTS IN SINGLE SEASON: 13, breaking old record of 12 set in 2004

SCHOOL RECORD TEAM GOALS-AGAINST-AVERAGE: 0.64, breaking old record of 0.77 set in 2004

SCHOOL RECORD INDIVIDUAL CAREER SHUTOUTS BY GOALKEEPER: 34 by Betsy Knawa, breaking old record of 24 previously held by Knawa

NCAA DIVISION III STATISTICAL RANKING – SHUTOUT PERCENTAGE BY TEAM: 23rd at 0.65 with 13 shutouts in 20 games.

NCAA DIVISION III STATSTICAL RANKING – SHOTS ON GOALS SAVE PERCENTAGE BY TEAM: 30th at 0.873 with 13 goals allowed and 89 saves

AUGUSTANA MOST VALUABLE OFFENSIVE PLAYER – Tessa Roberts

AUGUSTANA MOST VALUABLE DEFENSIVE PLAYER – Betsy Fritz

AUGUSTANA MOST IMPROVED PLAYER – Cody Koehler

IRON VIKING – Krista Petrie & Betsy Knawa