Cohen Sends No. 5 Women’s Soccer to Sweet 16

Photo by Roger Mastroianni
Photo by Roger Mastroianni

St. Louis, Mo., Nov. 12, 2017 – Sophomore Taylor Cohen scored her team-leading 16th goal of the season in the 88th minute as the No. 5-ranked and defending national champion Washington University in St. Louis women's soccer team posted a 1-0 win over Wittenberg University in the second round of the 2017 NCAA Division III Tournament Sunday at Francis Field in St. Louis.

WashU improved to 17-1-1 with the win, while Wittenberg had its season come to an end with a record of 9-7-3. The Bears advance to the Sweet 16 for the sixth time in the last seven seasons and for the 13th time in school history.

The Bears take on No. 15 University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (19-1-3) Friday in the NCAA Sectional Semifinal at the University of Chicago.

"It was a great soccer game on both sides of the ball," said WashU head coach Jim Conlon. "Both teams had good defensive plans and chances could have gone either way. We were lucky to sneak one in."

A loose ball in the box landed on the foot of junior Jessica Ridderhoff, who slid a pass to Cohen for the game-winner at 87:10. The assist for Ridderhoff was her second in the last three games and third of the season. 

Cohen's game-winning goal was her sixth of the season, tied for third most in a single season in school history. She also moved into fifth on the single-season list for goals and seventh in points (37).

Wittenberg relied on its defense in the first half, playing most of the half with nine on the defensive third. Sophomore back Emma Thacker and the Tiger limited WashU to three shots on goal in the opening 45 minutes of play.

WashU outshot Wittenberg 10-2 in the first half, but it was the Tigers who had the only scoring chance in the first half. Leah Soutar got behind the WashU defense at 10:31, and fired a shot inside the box that freshman goalkeeper Emma Greenfield made a sliding save.

Junior Maggie Crist got some space in the 73rd minute, and fired a shot that deflected off a Wittenberg defender and into the hands of Kelly Corbin.

WashU dominated play outshooting Wittenberg 19-2, including 9-0 in the second half. The Bears also had a 6-1 advantage in corner kicks.

Greenfield made one save and picked up the win in goal. The shutout for WashU was its fourth in the last five games and 14th of the season.

BEAR NOTEBOOK: WashU leads the all-time series 3-2 with Wittenberg, and the teams met for the first time since 1999 … The Bears are 23-2-2 all-time at home in NCAA play … Cohen has 22 goals in 38 career games … WashU has a 35-13-8 (.696) all-time record in 17 all-time NCAA appearances.