COLLEGE WOMEN: Westmont goes 7 OTs to win third straight NAIA title

Westmont College of Santa Barbara, Calif., claimed its third successive NAIA women's soccer championship, and its fourth in five years, in a marathon showdown with No. 1 Lindsey Wilson that lasted 158 minutes.

Freshman Jessica Schoepke put an end to it, knocking home a rebound late in the seventh overtime period to give the Warriors a 2-1 triumph at Santa Barbara City College.

Westmont forward Karin Sullivan was selected the NAIA's Most Valuable Player, and her twin sister, Kristi, was chosen the Most Outstanding Offensive Player in the NAIA tournament. Lindsey Wilson's Dani Petrovic was selected Most Outstanding Defensive Player.

The match was the longest in NAIA championship history. Penalty-kick tiebreakers are used in knockout matches but not in the championship game.

The victory was Westmont's second this season over the Blue Raiders. The first was a 2-1 decision Sept. 12 in Mount Berry, Ga. Westmont has won five NAIA titles, the most of any school.

Lindsey Wilson, of Columbia, Ky., was appearing in its first final.

Jill Lirbank-Almbaek gave the Blue Raiders a 26th-minute lead, knocking in a rebound after goalkeeper Emalia Cornwell had made a diving save. Caitlin Olson pulled Westmont even five minute later with a dipping 22-yard shot after a run from midfield.

Schoepke's winner arrived after Jane Wyche tracked down a loose ball and fed Katie Cates on the left flank. Cates cut inside about 30 yards out, maneuvering past Lindsey Wilson's Nora Ohrnberg. Goalkeeper Debbie McGuinness knocked down Cates' shot at the right post, but she couldn't hold on, and Schoepke knocked it home.

The game was played before about 3,000 fans, including a large student contingent from Westmont, the tournament host.

Nov. 19-25 at Santa Barbara (Calif.) City College
Tuesday, Nov. 24

Westmont, Calif. 2 (Olson 31, Schoepke 158) Lindsey Wilson, Ky. 1 (Lirbank-Almbaek 26) (7OT)

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