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Women's Soccer Geared Up for NCAA First Round at Stevens

Women's Soccer Geared Up for NCAA First Round at Stevens

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – After claiming the fifth New England Collegiate Conference Championship in program history last Saturday, the Lesley University women's soccer team will be heading to the Stevens Institute of Technology for the First Round of the 2015 NCAA Women's Soccer Championship to be played on Saturday. This marks Lesley's fourth straight season with an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

The Lynx will square off with the No. 14 SIT Ducks on Saturday at 5:00p while Johns Hopkins University and Bowdoin College will play at 7:00p in the second First Round match of the evening. The winners of each First Round tilt will battle in Second Round action on Sunday at 5:00p.


Saturday, November 14
Stevens vs. Lesley -  5 p.m. - Live Stats Live Video
Johns Hopkins vs. Bowdoin - 7:30 p.m. - Live Stats Live Video

Sunday, November 15
Stevens/Lesley vs. Johns Hopkins/Bowdoin - 5 p.m.- Live Stats Live Video

Stevens Institute Regional Information Page
NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championship Bracket
2015 NCAA Women's Soccer Championship Program
Stevens Ducks Women's Soccer
Johns Hopkins Blue Jays Women's Soccer
Bowdoin Polar Bears Women's Soccer

Lynx freshman Samantha Bessey (Algonquin, Ill.) netted the only goal of the NECC Championship when she headed home a cross from senior Samantha Rapant (Pittsfield, Mass.) late in the first half. Scoring in the clutch was nothing new for the rookie as she also scored the game-winner in overtime in a 1-0 victory of Tufts in September. Senior Hayley Wirth (Escondido, Calif.) and freshman Jordan Mitchell (Sachse, Texas) each earned NECC All-Conference First Team honors while senior Jennifer Collins (Edison, N.J.), junior Julie Essick (Boerne, Texas), and Bessey each were voted to the NECC Second Team.

Sophomore keeper Lilly Donovan (Newburyport, Mass.) ranks fourth in the country with a .931 save percentage and seventh in the country with a miniscule 0.17 goals against average. Donovan, who has received the bulk of the work in between the pipes since senior Jackie Berard (Coventry, R.I.) went down with an injury, has not allowed a goal in her last 463-minutes played.

The Lynx enter the NCAA Tournament winners of 13 straight while outscoring their opponents 53-2 during the streak.

The Ducks, who ranked No. 14 in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Poll, punched their ticket to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011 following a 2-1 win over Ithaca College in the Empire 8 Championship match. Stevens enters play winners of 11 of their last 12 matches and have outscored their opponents by a 76-19 margin. Their 76 goals scored is the ninth most in the country.

The powerful Ducks offense is led by freshman Zisi Komar who has tallied 18 goals and nine assists in her rookie season. Junior Raba Nassif and senior Kristen Goncalves have also helped the scoring as they have deposited 15 and ten goals, respectively. In addition to her 15 goals, Nassif also leads the country in assists with 17.  

Sophomore Lindsey Mahnken has started in goal in 18 of the 19 matches for the Ducks and displays a sparkling 14-3-1 overall record with a 1.12 goals-against-average and a .813 save percentage.

2015 marks the 11th straight season that Johns Hopkins has gained admission to the NCAA Tournament. The Blue Jays earned the Centennial Conference crown with a 2-1 win in double-overtime over Swarthmore College.

Junior Megan Van de Loo, who potted the game-winner in the 102nd minute of play, leads the JHU scoring attack with 16 goals on the season while freshman Kristen Hori has aided the offense with six goals and nine assists.

Blue Jays keeper Clara Aranguren has kept a 9-3-1 ledger on the season with a 0.98 goals-against-average and .778 save percentage. The junior has also posted four shutouts on the year.

Johns Hopkins advanced to the NCAA Final Four round in 2014, the furthest they have ever advanced in the tournament.

The Polar Bears received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament after falling 2-0 to Williams College in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship last Sunday. Bowdoin has now qualified for the NCAA Tournament in four straight seasons and advanced to the Second Round in 2012 and 2013.

The Polar Bears have a stout defensive unit that allowed just 17 goals in 18 total matches on the season. Senior goalie Bridget McCarthy has registered a 9-5-1 record on the year with a 0.96 goals-against-average and .807 save percentage. Freshman Julia Patterson was named NESCAC Rookie of the Year after posting seven goals and three assists in her first season. Senior Jamie Hofstetter also added seven goals while helping out on five others to help aid the offense.

The Polar Bears are winners of seven of their last eight entering tournament play.