GRANVILLE, Ohio – The York College women's soccer had its memorable season come to a close on Saturday in the first round of the NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championship with a 4-0 loss to No. 4 Washington University (Mo.).
WashU (17-2) made a statement in the 17th minute of play when Olivia Lillegraven ripped a shot from nearly 40 yards out that sailed into the back of the net for the game's opening tally. The Bears extended the lead to 2-0 in the 30th minute when a pass chipped inside the 18-yard line landed on the foot of Katie Chandler who had an open look on net and finished for the goal.
The Spartans (9-11) battled throughout the entire first half as the two sides remained close in time of possession. WashU managed to create and capitalize on more quality scoring chances in the first half, which proved to be the difference in the score.
The Bears continued to display pinpoint accuracy in passing and shooting in the second half as they tacked on two more goals. All four goals scored by WashU were not a result in a lack of effort by the Spartans, but rather just perfect execution on the part of the Bears.
The Spartans showed outstanding pride and effort all game long as they kept attacking up to the final whistle, despite what the scoreboard displayed.
All-Capital Athletic Conference goalkeeper Kate Lutte (Catasauqua, Pa. / Catasauqua) played a superb game and made some excellent saves, while she suffered some unfortunate breaks on four well-executed shots by the Bears. Lutte tied her career-high in saves with nine on the day in final game with the Green & White.
The Spartan backline and defensive midfield never backed down from the WashU attack and put forth a gutsy performance that should not be overlooked despite the final score. Defenders Chelsea McDowell (Cinnaminson, N.J. / Cinnaminson), Marisa Brisbane (Damascus, Md. / Damascus), Kaylyn Watts (West Milton, Pa. / Lewisburg) and Alexis Munshower (Dillsburg, Pa. / Northern York), in addition to midfielder Kirsten Good (Palmyra, Pa. / Palmyra), were challenged with their toughest task of the season and put forth their absolute best effort all the way to the end.
On the offensive end, the Spartans were faced with one of the top defensive units in the nation and one that has only surrendered one goal since the month of September. Jamie Sokolis (Perry Hall, Md. / Perry Hall), Maxine Herman (York, Pa. / Dover), Alyssa Rankin (Joppa, Md. / Edgewood) and Caitlin Rankin (Joppa, Md. / Edgewood) took on the stellar WashU defensive unit with great determination, but the Bears proved that their numbers were no fluke as they held the Spartans to just three shots on goal.
WashU finished with a 20-10 advantage in shots, 13-3 on goal, and accumulated a 4-2 margin in corner kicks.
The memorable and magical season for the York College women's soccer program came to a close with a disappointing outcome, but the Spartans lived up to their namesake as they fought with great honor, despite the adversity they faced throughout the season. It's that tenacity and relentless spirit that took a sixth-seeded team to a conference championship and made a team with a sub-.500 record one of the final 64 teams still standing as the remaining 372 teams headed into the offseason.
It has been a fun ride and one that these players, coaches, fans and those associated with the program will never forget.