Willamette Ties #1-Ranked Trinity, 1-1, but Tigers Advance in Shootout

TACOMA, WASH. -- Willamette University played a solid game against #1-ranked Trinity University in the first round of the NCAA Division III Tournament at the University of Puget Sound, as the Bearcats fought to a 1-1 tie through two overtimes. Even so, Trinity advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament by winning a shootout, 3-1. The game was officially recorded as a tie, but the Tigers, now 16-0-2, will play on Sunday, Nov. 12, against Hardin-Simmons University, which advanced on a shootout, 6-5, after tying Puget Sound, 2-2 in two overtimes. Willamette’s season ended with a 16-2-3 overall record.

Following a scoreless first half, Trinity took the lead on an unassisted goal by Chelsea Wilson at 64:38. Wilson took the ball down the left side of the field, then moved past a defender, before placing the ball into the net. Willamette’s leading scorer, Susan Butler (Sr., MF/F, Boise, ID/Boise HS) provided the equalizer for the Bearcats at 84:21. Butler scored on a header, as she redirected a free kick taken by Laura Uhlmansiek (Sr., MF, Woodinville, WA/Overlake HS). Neither team scored during the remaining 5:38 of regulation or during two
10-minute overtime periods.

In the shootout, Trinity goalkeeper Alexandra Blake recorded three saves, while Willamette goalie Kari Woody (Sr., Boise, ID/Timberline HS) made one save. Trinity led 1-0 after one round, 2-1 after the second and third shooters for each team, then clinched the win in the fourth round, as Blake saved a shot by Butler and Jessica Koenig scored against Woody. Willamette’s successful shot in the second round of the shootout was taken by Meghan Anderson. All eight shootout attempts from the penalty spot were on target, with each shot either scoring or requiring a save. The fifth round of the shootout was not played because Trinity held an insurmountable lead.

The top-ranked Tigers held a statistical edge, with 25 total shots, compared to 13 shots for the Bearcats. Trinity, however, owned less of an advantage in accurate shots, as the Tigers placed eight shots on goal and Willamette earned six shots on goal. The Tigers registered eight corner kicks, compared to two corners for WU. Each team achieved two corner kicks in overtime, with Willamette earning its pair in the first extra session and Trinity claiming its corners during the second extra period.

Blake finished with five saves for TU. Woody registered seven saves for Willamette. Both goalkeepers went through the two overtimes without making a save. Jessica Lammers (Sr., MF, Concord, CA/Northgate HS) had a shot in the first overtime for Willamette, but it was blocked by the defense. TU managed three shots in the second overtime, but one was blocked and two went wide of the goal.

In addition to holding an advantage in shots and corner kicks, the Tigers also led in fouls committed. Trinity was whistled for 22 fouls, including 13 in the first half. WU was called for 13 fouls overall, with five fouls called in the first half.

Butler, Willamette’s leading scorer, finished the season with 10 goals and five assists for 25 points. Uhlmansiek concluded the year with seven assists to rank second on the team.

For Trinity, Wilson increased her scoring total to six goals and one assist (13 points). She ranks fourth on the team in scoring.

Willamette and Trinity both entered the game with outstanding defensive statistics. The Bearcats allowed just nine goals in 20 games during the regular season and Trinity gave up just six goals during its 17-game regular season schedule. After Saturday’s game, the Bearcats ended the year with a 0.46 goals against average, while Trinity owned a 0.39 GAA. On offense, the Tigers entered the game with 59 goals scored in 17 games. Willamette had scored 43 goals in 20 games.

WU Head Coach Jim Tursi has guided the Bearcats to five NCAA Division III Tournament berths since 1998, including final four appearances in 1998 and 2001. He also led Willamette to five consecutive postseason berths in the NAIA from 1993 through 1997. His teams at WU have reached postseason play 10 times during his 14 seasons. Tursi’s record at Willamette is 228-47-22 (.805). His career record, including three seasons at the University of Portland, is 264-61-26 (.789).