The Pomona-Pitzer women's soccer team advanced to the program's first-ever NCAA Division III Championship Final Four following a 0-0 double-overtime draw with Washington University (Mo.) that saw the Sagehens prevail, 5-4 on penalty kicks on Sunday morning at Francis Olympic Field in St. Louis, Mo.
With the draw, Pomona-Pitzer improves to 20-1-2 on the season and will now take on William Smith (20-1-1) in the NCAA Tournament semifinals on December 6 at 10:45 a.m. PDT at the UNC Greensboro Soccer Stadium in Greensboro, N.C. Wash U completes its 2019 season 18-1-3 overall. Messiah (21-1-2) and Carnegie Mellon (14-5-2) will meet in the other semifinal at 8 a.m. PDT with the winners to vie for the national title on December 7 at 11:30 a.m. PDT.
Sunday's sectional final featured a tightly contested 90 minutes of regulation, and 20 additional minutes of extra time with neither team able to net a go-ahead goal.
In the first stanza, Wash U held a 7-5 edge in shots, and a 7-4 advantage in the second half, but Pomona-Pitzer goalkeeper Isa Berardo made five of their six saves during regulation to keep the Bears off the board. Similarly, Wash U goalkeepr Emma Greenfield finished with four of her five saves in regulation.
in the first overtime, Wash U's Gabbie Cesarone had a header on target that Berardo was able to control in the 93rd minute, while Emily Tomz had a shot on frame that Greenfield parried in the 95th minute to keep the game at 0-0.
Neither team was able to test the opposing goalkeeper in the second stanza of extra time, setting the stage for a decisive penalty kick shootout.
Pomona-Pitzer was first up in the penalty kick shootout and all five of their attempts found the back of the net as Taylor Venenciano, Megan Kuo, Bria VarnBuhler, Hannah Mandell and Tomz all converted.
Ellie Moreland, Ariana Miles, Taylor Cohen, and Erin Flynn each made a spot kick for Wash U, but Cesarone was thwarted by Berardo to clinch the 5-4 PK win for the Sagehens.
Lily Gane finished with two of Pomona-Pitzer's five shots on goal, while Mandell, Charlotte Tapp and Tomz each had one. Moreland led the Bears with two of the team's six shots on goal, while Miles, Cesarone, and Katy Mockett chipped in one apiece.