Women’s soccer ready to square off with Quincy in NCAA Tournament

by | Nov 12, 2015

The Tritons are making their first NCAA appearance since 1983 – the second year women's soccer was an NCAA sport.

UMSL Women's Soccer

The University of Missouri–St. Louis travels to Allendale, Mich., to begin play in the 2015 NCAA Tournament. The UMSL Tritons are the five seed in the Midwest Region and will face four-seed Quincy on Friday at 7 p.m. (EST). The winner advances to Sunday’s second round against host and top-seeded Grand Valley State, the two-time defending national champion.

The Tritons are making their first NCAA appearance since 1983 – the second year women’s soccer was an NCAA sport. The appearance also marks the program’s third overall with the 1982 team also qualifying and finishing fourth nationally. UMSL has a 1-3 record in NCAA games. In 1982, UMSL had a first round bye, defeated Harvard, 2-1, in the second round and then lost to eventual national champion North Carolina, 2-1. Connecticut then defeated UMSL, 2-1, in the consolation game. In 1983, UMSL lost a first round game to George Mason, 6-2.

UMSL is 12-4-4 overall, equaling the program’s most wins since the 2007 team finished 12-7-3. The Tritons were 8-3-4 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, equaling the most GLVC wins along with the 2006, 2005 and 2000 teams, and finished fourth in the regular season after being tabbed ninth in the preseason coaches’ poll. UMSL then took runner-up honors in the GLVC Tournament, defeating Drury, 2-1, in the quarterfinals, before knocking off top-seed Bellarmine in the semifinals. The Tritons lost a 2-0 decision to Truman State in the title game.

UMSL posted a win streak of eight games during the season and had an unbeaten streak of 12 games.

The Tritons are 1-0-2 this season against nationally ranked teams, tying then No. 6 Quincy, 1-1, tying then No. 19 Bellarmine, 2-2 and defeating then No. 13 Bellarmine, 2-1.

The Tritons are coached by second-year head coach Wendy Dillinger, who is 20-12-5 at UMSL. In 14 years as a collegiate head coach, Dillinger sports a record of 154-95-24, which includes six seasons at NCAA DI Iowa State and six seasons at NCAA DIII Washington University in St. Louis.

UMSL has outscored its opponents, 50-17, and rank 22nd in NCAA Division II in total goals. They have recorded 43 assists on those goals, ranking 11th nationally. The Tritons also have six games of four or more goals.

Junior Miriam Taylor owns a team-best 11 goals, four of which are game-winners, while freshman McKayla Harder follows with 10 goals. 15 different players have netted at least one goal, including junior Kayla Delgado and senior Kali Thomas, who have seven and five goals, respectively.

Senior Sidney Allen leads the team in assists with nine.

Defensively, senior Megan Ohm ranks 31st in NCAA DII in goals against average (0.697) and has a save percentage of 0.797, while the Tritons have posted eight shutouts.

Quincy is 13-3-4 overall and finished the GLVC season with a 9-3-3 mark. The Hawks bowed out of the tournament in penalty kicks against Truman State. Ashley Burton paces the offense with 14 goals, while GLVC Freshman of the Year Abby Pulliam follows with 11 goals. The Hawks are outscoring their opponents, 41-14. Defensively, Megan Swanson owns eight shutouts and has a save percentage of .852.

Grand Valley State, ranked No. 1 nationally, has netted 90 goals this season, including 23 from Marti Colby. Colby, the reigning NCAA DII Player of the Year, also owns a team-best 14 assists. The Lakers are 19-1, with their lone loss coming at Quincy, 3-0, in the season opener. Grand Valley is a perfect 13-0 at home this season, outscoring opponents 65-4 in those games.

UMSL and Quincy played to a 1-1 double overtime draw in the GLVC opener on September 11 in Quincy, Ill. The then No. 6 ranked Hawks got on the board with a goal from Ashley Burton in the 30th minute and held the lead until the 59th minute when Miriam Taylor scored the equalizer. The Tritons outshot Quincy, 23-20, in the game, including 11-6 in the second half, and finished the contest with 12 shots on goal to the Hawks’ seven. Megan Ohm made six saves in the draw.

Click here or below to view a video about the Tritons NCAA appearance.

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