Messiah beats Skidmore Women's Soccer in second round of NCAAs

Posted by Skidmore Athletics


GRANTHAM P.A. — The Skidmore College women's soccer team had its record-setting NCAA run end at the hands of No. 1 Messiah College, Sunday, Nov. 13, at Messiah, after beating MIT in penalty kicks in the first round on Saturday, Nov. 12.

On Saturday, when Rebecca Russo's '13 penalty kick offering hit the back of the net, her teammates rushed onto the field in celebration of the Thoroughbreds' NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championships First Round victory.

The score, Skidmore's third in four attempts, propelled Skidmore into the Second Round via a shootout victory as MIT went 0-3 on their penalty kick attempts.

The win dropped MIT (14-3-4) out of the NCAA Championships.

After 110 minutes of soccer on Saturday, neither team held an advantage on the scoreboard. Skidmore (14-6) held a 20-15 edge in shots taken throughout the regulation and overtime periods, with MIT keeper Meghan Wright and Skidmore keeper Meghan Sleezer '12 making nine and eight saves, respectively. Each keeper made a save on her opponent's first shot in the shootout.

With the win, Skidmore moved on to face No.1 ranked Messiah in the second round the following day.

Messiah followed up a 10-0 win on Saturday to oust the Thoroughbreds 3-0. The Falcons outshot Skidmore 15-2 in Sunday's game. Skidmore, coming off its dramatic 0-0 tie and 3-0 win in penalty kicks against MIT from Saturday, ended the season 13-7-1.

In the 13th minute of play, Messiah got on the board courtesy of junior Rachel Scheibeler. Senior Jess Shirk attacked inside the left wing, cutting along the end line on the left side before firing a shot on Sleezer. Sleezer would collect a save, but could not hold possession as the rebound bounced high into the air in front of the goal. Scheibeler, crashing in from the right side, put her head onto the ball and past Sleezer's outstretched arms for the score.

The score would remain unchanged for much of the remainder of the first half, with Messiah working to break through the physical Skidmore defense.

In the 39th minute, Messiah took a 2-0 lead on a goal by freshman Lauren Federline. Senior Erin Hench, coming off a three-goal performance in Saturday's win for the Falcons, took the ball deep into the left side of the Skidmore box before finding classmate Leah Sipe in the middle of the box. With the defense collapsing around her, Sipe slotted the ball through to the right side for Federline and a quick strike past Sleezer.

The score gave the Falcons a 2-0 lead they would take into halftime.

Messiah's third and final goal would be scored just 15 minutes into the second half.

The win moves Messiah to 19-0-1 on the season, with their lone blemish being to No. 2 William Smith — the same William Smith that defeated Skidmore in the Liberty League Championship just eight days ago.

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