Greencastle, Ind.-DePauw University women's soccer team kept its season alive with a 2-1 victory over the Ladies of Kenyon College, advancing them into the NCAC Women's Soccer Tournament Finals this Saturday at Reavis Stadium.
The combination of playing under the lights and Kenyon seeking revenge following DePauw's late-game win the previous Saturday led to heightened emotions and physical play from the very beginning.
With neither team entirely comfortable to go on the attack in the opening minutes of play, the Tigers managed to strike first. Fortunately for DePauw, there was a switch that flipped in the 10th minute of the game that acted as the catalyst that would eventually ignite the Tigers' offense.
After getting four looks on goal, DePauw finally caught a break off what looked like a cross to switch the field by Mary Goodale; however, the speed and height of the ball put it just out of the Ladies goalie's reach and into the back of the net.
DePauw would maintain both control of the ball and the game for the remainder of the first half, outshooting its opponents 8-3, while keeping most of the play on Kenyon's half.
The Tigers' defensive line and communication played a significant role in its success throughout the match. By remaining calm and containing its opponent, DePauw maintained its lead up until the 78th-minute.
Despite being scored on with 12 minutes to go in the match, the Tigers were methodical in how it worked the ball around the pitch and never let up on pushing the ball into Kenyon's half.
That persistence paid off enormously when DePauw had not one but two potential goals late in the second half. Not willing to lose its momentum, the Tigers crowded Kenyon's goalie box, and Alex Berkley managed to intercept a deflected cross, square up her shot, and score her fifth game-winning goal of the season.
Up 2-1, DePauw continued to play its game and kept the ball out of its half. As minutes turned into seconds left in regulation, the Tigers finished the game with poise.
DePauw's victory advances the Tigers into the NCAC Finals, with a home-field advantage against The College of Wooster. The game is set for Saturday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m.