As the women’s soccer team capped off its regular season on Saturday afternoon, the Yellowjackets’ 5-0 upheaval of the Case Western Reserve University Spartans propelled them into a spot in the NCAA tournament. For the 16th time in UR women’s soccer history, the ‘Jackets will vie for the honor of top team in the nation, starting with a game against the Roger Williams University Hawks on Saturday.

In Saturday’s game against Case, UR took an astonishingly early lead. Freshman forward Ellen Coleman drove the ball into the net just 52 seconds into the University Athletic Association matchup, setting the tone for the game. Coleman scored her ninth goal of the season a little over 30 minutes later, bringing the score to 2-0.

A little less than 15 minutes into the second half, sophomore forward Brid-gette Varin put the game out of the Spartans’ reach. Varin, who currently leads the team in goals with 11, was assisted by senior midfielder Laura Bojko and sophomore midfielder Kirsten Ross. Bojko, who missed the previous two games due to injury, was a much-appreciated asset in the Yellowjackets’ win.

The final goals of the day came from Ross and junior midfielder Mae Butler.

Junior goalkeeper Celeste Hornbach played all 90 minutes in the net and recorded her fifth shutout of the season. It was clear that UR had control throughout the game, as evidenced by its 19-3 shot advantage.

The Yellowjackets finished out the regular season with an 11-5-2 overall record and a UAA record of 3-4. They were also ranked 20th in Division III in the most recent National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Adidas poll.

Though a 5-0 win compared to a 1-0 or 5-4 win may seem inconsequential, the ‘Jackets’ goal differential, along with their strength in the region, may very well have been what brought them into the NCAA tournament. While UR has scored 47 goals this season, its opponents have only put 17 into the net.

The Yellowjackets have been very strong in their region. UR beat each of its local competitors handedly and also topped Union College, 2-0, earlier this season.

The ‘Jackets will play Roger Williams at Ithaca College at 1 p.m. on Saturday. The Hawks finished their season 18-2 as champions of the Commonwealth Coast Conference. They were not ranked in the most recent NSCAA/adidas Division III poll.

This appearance will mark the third time in four years that the Yellowjackets have played in the tournament. Last year, they were defeated in the first round of the Eastern College Athletic Conference championships by SUNY Fredonia. If UR wins on Saturday, it will play the winner of the matchup between Ithaca and Westfield State College.

Philbrick is a member of the class of 2009.



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