College Women: Ohio Wesleyan, Messiah advance to Division III final

Defending champion Ohio Wesleyan and Messiah advanced on Friday to the NCAA Division III women's soccer championship game, capturing semifinal triumphs at Geneva, N.Y., in decidedly different fashions.

The Battling Bishops (22-0-1) struck twice in the first nine minutes and coasted to a 3-0 victory over final-four host William Smith. Messiah (21-0-2) earned its second successive shootout win after a 0-0 draw with Trinity, Texas.

Ohio Wesleyan and Messiah will meet in Saturday's title match at noon EST.

Sarah Wall tallied in the third minute and assisted Erika Howland's goal in the ninth to give the Battling Bishops a quick 2-0 advantage in the first game of the semifinal doubleheader. Emily Bayer made it 3-0, from Howland's pass, 92 seconds into the second half.

William Smith (14-5-6) had reached the semifinals without a victory, advancing on penalty kicks after ties with Nazarth in the second round, NYU in the third round and Wheaton, Mass., in the quarterfinals. The Herons, who had a first-round bye, outshot Ohio Wesleyan, 15-9, with a good number of the shots coming in the final minutes of the match.

Maggy Futato made three saves to lead Messiah to a 3-1 win in the shootout. She stopped Erica Adelstein, Shaina Eckhouse and, on the decisive kick, Krystal Pfluger. Jamie Gasiorowski, Holly Shifflett and Erini Benedict converted spot kicks for the Falcons.

Becky Salzbrenner converted for Trinity (21-1-1) after Messiah had a 3-0 advantage, and goalkeeper Stephanie Bull stopped Emily Benson on the next kick to keep the Tigers' hopes briefly alive.

Next story loading loading..