Women’s soccer advances to NCAA Semifinals

Spartans defeat Loras 3-1, William Smith 4-2


Courtesy of CWRU Athletics

CWRU graduate student forward Camryn Hartman lead the Spartans with the highest number of shots during the Spartan’s Nov. 19 game against Loras.

Puneet Bansal, Sports Editor

With high stakes against top teams in the NCAA Division III, the Case Western Reserve University women’s soccer team found a way to bring themselves closer to the coveted NCAA championship. The Spartans defeated 15th-ranked Loras College 3-1 on Nov. 19 and pulled off a comeback victory late in the game against sixth-ranked William Smith College 4-2. CWRU now stands at 19-0-1, building on the best program record and reaching the farthest into the postseason in school history.

Against Loras, CWRU was in control from the start. The Spartans held most of the possession, attempting 12 shots before finally hitting the net in the 42nd minute. Graduate student forward Camryn Hartman set up the play, driving to the middle of the field along the end line and sending a cross into the box. It was placed perfectly for fourth-year forward Aniya Hartzler, who knocked it in for her fifth goal of the season and the 1-0 lead. Hartman recorded her eighth assist of the year.

First-year forward Maggie Farra quickly added to the lead following a cross from fourth-year defender Merry Meyer, which Farra netted off the bottom of the crossbar from about 25 yards out. Meyer recorded her third assist of the season.

In the second half, the Duhawks scored in the 67th minute. Hartman, however, ensured the game remained out of reach for Loras, scoring off a pass from first-year midfielder Jamie Goldfarb to push the Spartans to a 3-1 in the 82nd minute. Goldfarb notched her third assist.

With Hartman’s 13th goal, she holds the third-most in a season in program history. Her 35 points over her college career are the second-highest ever for a CWRU player, while her eight assists are tied for fifth.

On the other side, third-year goalie Maggie Storti allowed one goal and made eight saves.

CWRU maintained possession dominance throughout the match, finishing the game with a 25-11 advantage in total shots.

“Looking up to that scoreboard 2-1 in favor us near the end of the game was just great, and then scoring that goal to finish them off was also awesome,” said fourth-year forward Anika Washburn when asked about the Spartans’ deepest playoff run in program history in an interview with the CWRU Athletic Department.

“The team’s just happy to have another day of soccer. We’ve been focusing on the game ahead of us all year and that’s what we did this time and against a new style of play that we had to overcome.”

The quarterfinals on Sunday afternoon proved to be the greatest challenge thus far for the Spartans, as they climbed out of a 2-0 hole to land a trip to Salem, Virginia.

CWRU remained scoreless into the second half. Things seemed to be heading for the worse as time wound down, but fourth-year forward Helina VanBibber sparked life into the game and the crowd in the 58th minute. Hartman passed the ball from the left side to an unguarded VanBibber who lasered it in from the six-yard box to cut the lead to 2-1.

13 minutes later, first-year midfielder Mackenzie Mueller tied the game after catching a deflection from Washburn’s shot, netting a goal in the lower right corner.


The Spartans continued their barrage less than two minutes later when VanBibber capitalized on a sequence from Hartzler and Washburn to take the lead 3-2. Hartzler and Washburn recorded assists on the play.

Goldfarb closed out scoring in the 82nd minute with a header off a high-arching pass from Hartman for the 4-2 win. Hartman’s assist tied her with Hartzler (2022) and Washburn (2021) for most assists in a single season.

Storti saved one shot and earned her 19th win of the season and the 36th of her career. Fourth-year Lexi Gomez, second-year Katie Rishel and fourth-year Elizabeth White played all 90 minutes.

CWRU held the advantage in shots once again, having 15-6 overall as well as 3-2 in corner kicks.

“I’m kind of speechless,” said Head Coach Abby Richter after the game. “I’m just so proud of the way the girls battled. We got one [goal] and it just kind of kept rolling. Once we got to four, it was good to at least take a breath. I’m just so proud of the team and the effort that they gave tonight.”

When asked about how the switch flipped, Coach Richter said, “We made a couple tactical changes. We switched the two wingers and it just started rolling from there. We started combining a little bit better and finding passes.”

Hartman and Rishel were named the UAA Athletes of the Week. Hartman earned the offensive athlete award for her team-leading 13 season goals and 10 assists. Hartman was also named the Spartan Club Athlete of the Week. Rishel, who received the defensive athlete award, played all 180 minutes over the weekend and was a key component of that stagnant Spartan defense.

CWRU will now travel to Salem, Virginia to face off against fourth-ranked Virginia Wesleyan University in the NCAA Semifinals on Dec. 2 at 4 p.m. in Kerr Stadium. The victor will play the winner between second-ranked Johns Hopkins University and fifth-ranked Messiah University. The championship game will take place on Dec. 4 at 12 p.m.