Women’s soccer team headed to NCAA Div. III Championships

The women’s soccer continues their reign over the IIAC, sitting at 14-1-3, claimed the IIAC Tournament Championship last week with victories over Wartburg and Luther.

(Photo by Jonathan Quinn) Junior forward Elizabeth Mills dribbles around a Wartburg College defender.

With the win, the women have secured their place to the NCAA tournament and will look to begin a run towards the national title.
The IIAC tournament began well for the women, as the No. 19 Duhawks stifled the Wartburg Knights with a 3-1 victory on Wednesday, Nov. 1.

With Loras posting 28 shots compared to Wartburg’s five, the Duhawks had the dominant hand throughout the course of the entire game. Seniors Gretchen Schutz and Lauren Bolnius, as well as junior Elizabeth Mills, each knocked in a goal for the Duhawks, spreading the wealth.

The win moved Loras into the IIAC final against Luther for an automatic NCAA tournament bid and IIAC supremacy.

(Photo by Fabian Hernandez) Senior forward Gretchen Schutz battles off a defender in their 3-1 victory.

On Saturday, Nov. 4, the women converted on their opportunity in the IIAC final, handily defeating Luther with a score of 4-1. Loras recorded 25 shots to Luther’s two, and this is the 13th time in program history that they are headed to the NCAA Tournament.
The entire conference tournament was rather quiet for goalie Kaylee Coble, who only needed to make one save against Wartburg and none against Luther.

The Loras defense was air-tight, and greatly contributed to the women’s success. Mills saw continued success in the final, as she notched two goals for the Duhawks.

“I felt good, and the assists were coming,” Mills said. “I was happy that a couple of those shots landed.”

The seniors came out to play in the final round of the IIAC tournament against the Norse. Senior Maura Walsh notched a goal for herself, and senior Molly Stanfa scored on of her own early in the match. Schutz banked in assists, making the Duhawks a well-oiled machine.

The win notched the first IIAC tournament victory for the Duhawks since 2013.

“I’m extremely proud of my team,” said Head Coach Matt Pucci. “We’re playing together, making shots and getting wins. We’re hot going into the tournament.”

From here, Loras is headed to the NCAA tournament on Friday, Nov. 10. The selection show on Monday announced that the Duhawk women will face Webster in the first round in the Rock Bowl.  The Gorlocks sit at 19-1-0 for the season. Play is set for 5 p.m.

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Aaron Broege is a sports writer for The Lorian.

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