Playoffs Round Two: Make or break for women's soccer

By The Beacon | November 19, 2013 5:50pm
Junior Emily Sippel strikes the ball past three Seattle U defenders.
Photo by David DiLoreto/The Beacon

By Cassie Sheridan |

On Friday, in a city you haven’t heard of since memorizing state capitals in fourth grade (Lincoln, Nebraska), the women’s soccer team will take the field against the University of Illinois. This year, they intend to leave the second round of the playoffs with a W.

This is the Pilot’s 14th straight playoff appearance, however, in recent years progressing past the second round has been an impenetrable goal. Last season, the Pilots fell to Michigan State in the second round 3-0, despite outshooting them 10-8.

“There are a lot of emotions, it is playoffs, it’s make or break,” said senior defender Amanda Frisbie. “However, a lot of excitement too.”

Last Saturday, in their first round game against Seattle University, the team took to Merlo for the final time this season. For seniors, it was an emotional game beyond just the playoff pressure; it would be their last game on Merlo Field.

“The most important thing is to leave Merlo with a win,” said senior midfielder Ellen Parker.

The 2-0 win over Seattle was secured by a controlled game of precision and outstanding defensive performance. After a frustrating 78 minutes, freshman Danica Evans scored off an assist from fellow freshman Ellie Boon. Ten minutes later Frisbie converted a penalty kick to ensure a win and a trip to the second round. It was senior goalkeeper Erin Dees 17th career shutout, only having to block Seattle’s 3 goals as the Pilots outshot Seattle 11-3.

“Knowing it’s our last game on Merlo is bittersweet,” Dees said. “It’s tough, but it’s time.”

The University of Illinois Illini are coming out of the Big Ten conference with an 10-8-3 record. They have made it to the second round of the playoffs three years in a row, this year they beat Washington State in penalty kicks 3-1. Their freshman goalkeeper, Claire Wheatley had a career-high 11 saves in the game.

The Pilots will face the University of Illinois Illinois at 9 a.m. Friday. If they win, they will play the winner of the Nebraska vs. Boston College match Sunday at 11 a.m.

WCC Accolades for Pilots

Amanda Frisbie-WCC Defender of the Year; all-WCC first team

Allison Wetherington- Freshman of the Year; all-WCC second team

Garrett Smith- Coach of the Year (sixth WCC coach of the year award)

Erin Dees- all-WCC first team

Ellen Parker- all-WCC first team

Micaela Capelle- all-WCC second team