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5. PREVIEW: D3 women's semis feature Messiah-TCNJ rematch
November 21st, 2006 9:42PM
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The NCAA Division III men's and women's final fours will both be played this weekend at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. In Friday's women's semifinals, Virginia Wesleyan meets Wheaton (Ill.) at 11 am ET, and Messiah faces the College of New Jersey in a replay of last year's championship game at 1:30 pm (Webcast, NCAAsports.com, live). The winners will play in Saturday's championship game. Here's a look at the four women's semifinalists:

VIRGINIA WESLEYAN (18-3-4). The Marlins lost their first two games of the season but are undefeated since mid-September, running off a 19-game undefeated streak. They came from the No. 4 seed to win the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. Goalie Lindsey Williams made diving efforts to stop the first and the final penalty kicks by Washington & Lee and give VWC a 4-3 shootout victory after a scoreless draw in their sectional final.

WHEATON (ILL.) (22-2-0). Pete Felske won the D3 men's title as a player at Wheaton in 1984 and led the Thunder to the D3 women's title as a coach in 2004. Wheaton, which is back in the final four for the third time in the last six years, has won all four NCAA Tournament games by shutouts. The Thunder is led by junior Sarah Richardson, who has scored a team-high 18 goals, and freshman Taryne Lee, who scored in three of the four postseason games to give her 17 goals.

MESSIAH (18-2-1). Once again, Messiah has men's and women's teams in the final four. Last year, the Falcon women beat the College of New Jersey in the final as part of an unprecedented men's and women's sweep. This year's team is led by junior forward Stef Rowe, its leading scorer with 23 goals and three assists and the Commonwealth Conference Player of the Year.

COLLEGE OF NEW JERSEY (17-1-3). After putting 10 goals past Villa Julie in its first NCAA Tournament game, TCNJ only managed to score one goal in the sectionals but prevailed with a 1-0 win over Middlebury and a shootout victory over Amherst after their sectional final ended in a scoreless tie. The Lions' only loss this season was to Wheaton in double overtime in October. Dana DiBruno (12 goals) leads the Lions, who have nine players with five or more goals.


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