Carnegie Mellon Claim Sweet Sixteen Spot

Carnegie Mellon women’s soccer sped past the first and second rounds of the NCAA Division III tournament with two pacey performances against Cabrini College and SUNY-Oneonta. The Tartans advanced to the Round of 16, where they’ll face Calvin College at a time and place to be determined.

The two defenses struggled all weekend to catch up with a quick Carnegie Mellon team full of fitness. Tartan fullbacks worked the wide areas in their first round match against Cabrini and tired out the Cavaliers by halftime. With Cabrini gassed, Carnegie Mellon coach Yon Struble moved to a more direct approach. Four second half goals came from straightforward runs into the box, wrapping up a 5-0 opening act.

Oneonta matched the Tartans energy in the second round for the full 90 minutes. The high-intensity of the Red Dragons rattled the fifth-ranked team in the nation for stretches of the game and prevented Carnegie Mellon from flying around the pitch. However, once the match reached extra time, the Tartans superior conditioning proved the difference. An in-form Sienna Stritter soared past an Oneonta defender and rounded the keeper for the golden goal.

Stritter opened her tournament account a half hour into the Cabrini match on Saturday thanks to a goalkeeper error. Alivia Dietsch was caught too far out of her cage and the sophomore poked the ball into an open net.

Stritter’s second was much more legitimate and ignited the Tartans tour de force in the second half. She drove into the penalty area and lifted the shot into the top corner on 50 minutes. Cabrini was desperate to stop Carneige Mellon from running all over them and tried to implement an offside trap.

That trap failed miserably as the irresponsibly high line opened the floodgates. Morgan Kontor’s cross on 68 minutes floated to the back post, where Alli McGugan touched it home. Two goals from Nicole Winegardner rounded out the performance. Megan Bartoshuk worked her way out of the corner to provide the service for Winegardner’s powerful header on 80 minutes. A simple finish from a rebound two minutes later closed the scoring for the night.

Carnegie Mellon relied on their resilient defense on Sunday against Oneonta. The Tartans have conceded just 8 goals in 19 matches, with their second round win marking their 12th clean sheet. Their midfielders were first to most of the 50/50 balls, allowing them to keep the majority of possession in the first half. Any possible threat was instantly booted away by sweeper keeper Katie Liston.

A scrappy game looked to be heading towards penalties based on the lack of chances created by both teams. Stritter stepped up for the Tartans two minutes into extra time to quell that possibility. Her third goal in two days equaled her total from the entire regular season.

The Round of 16 will be where Carnegie Mellon’s challenge truly begins. Their 16-2 season last year ended with a Sweet Sixteen exit to John Hopkins in penalties. The speed and toughness they demonstrated over the weekend will be qualities they have to keep displaying for a potential championship run.


Oregon State Outlasts Defiant Duquesne

No. 12 Oregon State overcame jetlag and an unrelenting Duquesne squad to squeeze out a 3-2 victory on top the Bluff. A Dukes penalty on 89 minutes ended up being the difference, a decision that was greeted harshly by a dedicated student section backed by members of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds’ Steel Army. Duquesne keeper Sam Frymier did everything in his power to keep the Beavers away from a third goal, but his save bounced right back to Timmy Mueller who drove home the rebound. Beavers head coach Steve Simmons will feel lucky that his nationally-ranked team remains undefeated (4-0) on the season.

The Dukes matched any challenge Oregon State presented for most of the match. A sluggish Beavers defense missing the toughness that shut out their first three opponents also helped the underdogs stay competitive.

Talisman Jordan Jones took the initiative on 27 minutes to break open the reserved opening stages for the Pac-12 program. Jones followed up his initial shot that hit the post to finish at point blank range. Duquesne went down a minute later to equalize. Oregon State’s nightmare in defense began when they couldn’t clear away the corner allowing Colin Phillips to take the chance.

Leading goal scorer Jones completed his brace right at the start of the second half. The sophomore sent a missile into the back of Frymier’s net on 50 minutes from just inside the penalty area. The captain Phillips wouldn’t be out-staged and answered with a double of his own. Beavers keeper Nolan Wirth left his cage on 58 minutes and the Ontarian capitalized on the empty goal. Phillips continues to be the main source of offense for the Dukes contributing 4 of their 5 goals.

Oregon State started to assert their dominance in the final minutes. Frymier made a powerful save on Mueller on 84 minutes that kept the loud student crowd hopeful. That hope soured when referee Pete Lubinsky deemed that the contact on a Beavers attacker was enough to award a penalty. Mueller rescued the result to keep his team’s no. 12 ranking intact.

The match completed the first day of the Duquesne Invitational. Cleveland State edged Cornell also on a penalty that came in overtime. Oregon State will play this Sunday for the chance to take the trophy with them on the 3,000 mile flight. They face the Ivy Leaguers at 11 a.m. while Duquesne hosts Cleveland State at 3 p.m.

Women Fall Late To West Coast Opposition 

Duquesne women’s soccer couldn’t compound on a successful trip to New Jersey last weekend and lost 2-1 in overtime to UC-Santa Barbara. Mallory Hromatko’s curling strike on 97 minutes made the journey east worth while for the Gauchos.

A scoreless affair picked up with 5 minutes remaining in the second half. Pitt transfer Malea Fabean changed that when she opened the scoring for the Dukes. Santa Cruz charged right back as Chace Schornstein found the equalizer that forced Extra Time.

The loss means a developing Duquesne program drops to 4-2 on the season. They will want a quick bounce back against Cincinnati this Sunday. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.