Update (11/22): A day after advancing into the final eight of the NCAA Tournament with a gutsy shootout performance against Hardin-Simmons, the Swarthmore College women's soccer team concluded its season with a 5-0 loss to the top-ranked Messiah Falcons. The Garnet caps the best year in program history with 18 wins, setting program records for goals (83), assists (75), and shutouts (16).
Update (11/21): Goalkeeper Reba Magier '16 made three consecutive saves in a thrilling shootout as the women's soccer team (18-2-2) advanced past Hardin-Simmons (19-2-2) to the sectional final of the NCAA Tournament after a 1-1 draw was settled in penalties. Caroline Khanna scored for Swarthmore right before halftime after burying a rebound that bounced to her feet after a hard shot by Mele Johnson drilled the crossbar. The Garnet face host Messiah College for a spot in the Final Four on Sunday, Nov. 22 at 1:00 p.m.
It was a historic weekend for two of the College's athletic programs, as the women's soccer team advanced to the NCAA Division III Sweet 16 for the first in program history and the volleyball team captured the program's first ECAC championship.
The women's soccer team (18-2-1) is off to the Sweet 16 thanks to victories over St. Joseph's of New York (5-2) and Catholic University (1-0), which were played in front of raucous crowds at Clothier Field over the weekend. The Garnet will next face Hardin-Simmons (Texas) on Sat., Nov. 21, at 1:30 p.m. on the campus of Messiah College. With a win, the team would advance to the sectional final on Sunday, Nov. 22 (1:00 p.m.). The Athletics Department is sponsoring a fan bus for members of the Swarthmore community that would like to attend; details below.
Just as it has all season, the Garnet used a balanced offensive attack and stingy defense en route to playoff victories. In Saturday’s win over St. Joseph's, the Garnet got scoring contributions from five different players. In Sunday’s win over Catholic, Sarah Hancock '18 of Royersfod, Pa., scored in the 41st minute, while Reba Magier '16, a biology and computer science major from Saugus, Calif., recorded her ninth shutout of the year after making eight saves between the pipes, including a sprawling rejection of a Catholic free kick toward the right post in the sixth minute of the contest.
"Balancing academics, athletics, and other extracurricular activities at such a high level is not easy to do,” says head coach Todd Anckaitis. “And at the end of the day, they've done it with a smile on their faces, enjoying the moment, and building memories for a lifetime. What more could a coach or a program ask for?'
Watch highlights and a post-game interview following the win over Catholic University.
The women's soccer fan bus departs the Field House on Saturday at 11 a.m. for the 1:30 p.m. game. If the Garnet win on Saturday, another fan bus will depart the Field House on Sun., Nov. 22, at 10:30 a.m. for the 1 p.m. game. To register, please contact Marian Fahy by Friday at noon. Those unable to attend the games can follow along via live video and live stats.
On the court, the volleyball team (22-9) finished the 2015 campaign on a high note, winning the program's first ECAC South Region title with victories over Lebanon Valley (25-16, 25-23, 25-16) and No. 25 Carnegie Mellon (25-23, 23-25, 25-16, 25-22).
The championship match triumph over host CMU gave the program its fifth 20-win season in the past six years and second win over a nationally-ranked opponent this season. Sarah Wallace '18, a native of San Francisco who was recently named All-America honorable mention, concluded a strong second-year campaign by resetting her own program mark for single-season kills with 459 en route to tournament MVP honors. Wallace compiled 32 kills and 18 digs over the two matches.
"Our team came together and truly played to our potential," says head coach Harleigh Chwastyk. "We were feeling the flow of being in the moment and played with pure confidence, played as a team, and without inhibition and fear."