Warriors to Roll into Alabama after 6-0 Win

Submitted by: Ron Smith - November 21st, 2015

 

Brooke Lillywhite kicks the ball past the keeper of the Warriors' third goal

Brooke Lillywhite kicks the ball past the keeper for the Warriors’ third goal. (Photo by Nate Kurtzman)

Westmont Women’s Soccer (15-3-2) had little trouble advancing to the second round of the NAIA National Championship on Saturday afternoon at Thorrington Field. The eighth-ranked Warriors defeated Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) by a score of 6-0 to punch their ticket to the final site in Orange Beach, Ala.

“It was a strong performance in the opening round of the national tournament,” said Westmont head coach Chantel Cappuccilli. “I was very pleased with our consistency over the 90 minutes. No matter who stepped on the field today, I felt like the effort and the mentality were the same. That is a positive thing headed into the round of 16.

The scoring started early for the Warriors when Alanna Richards headed in a corner kick from Angela Brown with just 15 minutes expired from the clock. Kaitlynn Durham earned the corner kick by forcing a ball off of an Eagle’s defender. Brown earned her 10th assist of the season by delivering the ball from the right corner across the face of the goal. Richards scored her fifth goal of the year by heading the ball sharply to the ground where it bounced over the keeper on its way to the opposite side of the net.

Less than three minutes later, Sophie Fuller, who was playing in her first game after sitting out with an injury, dribbled from the back to midfield. Fuller advanced the ball to Brooke Lillywhite on the left side who then redirected it to Kelsey Steck in front of the goal. Steck, left undefended, settled the ball and fired from just inside the top of the box.

“In pregame today, I encouraged the team to make their presence known early and go at them from the very beginning,” observed Cappuccilli. “I thought that if we did a good job of that, then the likelihood of us being successful in the game would be very high. I was very happy with our ability to capitalize on the opportunities that we had.”

Lillywhite added to the scoring in the 31st minute. Haley Parzonko received a throw-in and achieved separation from her defender. She served the ball to the center of the field where it found the head of Jackie Lopez. Lopez headed the ball toward a charging Lillywhite who delivered the ball into the net before colliding with Eagle’s goalkeeper Emily Lambert. Lillywhite exited the game but subsequently returned. Lambert remained in the game until halftime.

Westmont made it a 4-0 game in the 35th minute by being in the right place at the right time. Steck took a shot from the right end line that skided off the cross bar and found Parzonko on the left. Parzonko took a shot that a defender headed toward the ground to the feet of Steck. Steck took a poke at the goal, but it bounced off the defender and toward Lopez who, in turn, dented the net for the score.

In the 51st minute, Lillywhite slotted a ball to Steck who had just one defender to beat. Steck, racing toward the left side of the goal, cut to her right to shake her defender, then delivered a ball in the right side netting to record her 22nd goal of the season. Steck now ranks third in Warrior history for goals in a season, one behind Karin Sullivan who recorded 23 in 2003.

The final goal came in the 72nd minute. Ariel Johnston crossed a ball toward the face of the goal. Lopez cut in front of a defender and delivered a diving header from 10 yards out over the head of the keeper.

Westmont will advance to the second round to take on #12 Grace of Indiana (15-2-3). The Lancers, seeded ninth in the tournament, advanced with a 2-1 victory over Park (Pa.) today.

Westmont and Grace played two common opponents this season. The Lancers hosted The Master’s in late August, posting a 1-0 victory over the Mustangs. Westmont defeated The Master’s 2-1 in Santa Barbara on a pair of goals by Lillywhite.

On September 19, Grace hosted #2 Northwestern Ohio defeating the racers 2-1. In the end of August, Westmont hosted Northwestern Ohio and fell 3-2.

Grace finished second in the Crossroads League behind #4 Spring Arbor (Mich.) and entered the NAIA National Championship as an at-large selection.

The Lancers have outscored their opponents 35-9 this season. Sophomore goalkeeper Abby Schue has played in goal every minute for Grace, recording a goals-against average of just 0.460.

Offensively, the Lancers are led by senior forward Mallory Rondeau and junior forward Meredith Hollar, each of whom have each scored eight goals this season.

Grace and Westmont will face off on Monday, November 30 in Orange Beach, Ala. at a time to be announced. The winner will advance to a quarterfinals game on Wednesday, December 2.

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