Women’s soccer rolls to Round of 16

Spartans defeat Pitt-Greensburg 6-1, Ithaca 6-0


Courtesy of CWRU Athletics

The women’s soccer team poses triumphant at the second round of the NCAA Division III Championship, after defeating Ithaca College.

Puneet Bansal, Sports Editor

After posting the best regular season in program history, the Case Western Reserve University women’s soccer team swept through the first two games of the NCAA Division III championship tournament. Hosting the first two rounds from Nov. 12-13, the Spartans defeated the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg 6-1 on Saturday and Ithaca College 6-0 on Sunday. The team now stands at 17-0-1.


Pitt-Greensburg—Nov. 12

In front of a boisterous home crowd on DiSanto Field, second-year forward Carolyn Koutures kicked off the scoring bonanza against Pitt-Greensburg 20 minutes into the first half. Fourth-year midfielder Aniya Hartzler launched a corner kick towards the goal box. First-year midfielder Jamie Goldfarb was the first to it, heading it closer to the goal. Koutures finished off the play and netted a goal into the lower right corner. Hartzler and Goldfarb earned an assist each on the 1-0 play.

Almost two minutes later, Hartzler passed the ball from midfield to graduate student forward Camryn Hartman, who was closing in on the box. Hartman collected the ball and juked past the defender with a spin move, taking a shot into the lower left corner for the 2-0 lead. With the score, Hartman netted her 11th goal of the season while Hartzler recorded her 8th assist.

Fourth-year midfielder Helina VanBibber owned the second half, scoring two goals within the first 20 minutes. Fourth-year midfielder Anika Washburn assisted on VanBibber’s first goal, and in the second VanBibber put on a dribbling clinic with multiple spins before finally kicking it in.

“I was on the side and just looking for teammates,” said VanBibber when asked about her second goal. “I was dribbling and I saw a corner of opportunity and just shot it. Ani [Washburn] had a nice little fake and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without [her].”  

Washburn joined the scoring party less than two minutes later. Fourth-year defender Elizabeth White took a free kick, which went flying into the box and was deflected off a defender. Washburn took the rebound and finished the play, sending the ball into the lower left corner for her second goal of the season and securing the 5-0 lead.

Around the 70-minute mark, the Bobcats slipped past the formidable Spartan defense for a quick score, preventing a shutout for the 5-1 score.

About five minutes before the conclusion of the game, first-year forward Ceci Dapino iced the score with her third goal of the season off an assist from fourth-year defender Lexi Gomez. CWRU came away with the 6-1 victory to advance to the second round.

The Spartans limited the Bobcats to just five shot attempts total while recording 28 of their own. CWRU also outnumbered Pitt-Greensburg in corner kicks 13-2. Hartman led the team with eight shots total including four on goal. Third-year goalie Maggie Storti earned her 16th win of the season after saving two shots.

“The team played really well,” said Head Coach Abby Richter in a postgame interview with the CWRU Athletic Department. “We talked about the importance of having a really good start … Our intensity was really good from the beginning and I’m really proud of the team effort.”

When asked about the team’s slow start, Coach Richter discussed the high stakes atmosphere of the championship tournament, saying, “Going into the first tournament game, there’s always a bit of nerves and anxiety so it took us a little bit to settle in … once we did, we moved the ball really well [and] things started rolling for us.”



On Sunday, the Spartans took on Ithaca in the second round in almost identical fashion. Washburn opened the scoring in the 13th minute, taking the 1-0 lead off an assist from VanBibber. With the goal, Washburn set the program record for game-winning goals at 12 for her career.

Hartman continued her strong offensive play in the 24th minute, netting a long-range shot over the goalie’s extended hands for the 2-0 lead and the 12th goal of the season. First-year Maggie Farra rounded off the first half scoring burst with a quick score off an assist from Washburn.

Gomez scored an unassisted goal about two minutes into the second half for the 4-0 lead. Graduate student forward Samantha Cramin finished the scoring for the game with two goals in less than three minutes. In the 68th minute, Hartzler’s corner was headed by VanBibber, setting up an easy tap from Cramin for the 5-0 score. Hartzler earned her ninth assist of the season, tying her for third-most in a season in program history.

In the 71st minute, second-year defender Katie Rishel and first-year midfielder Julia Flynn set up the passes for Cramin to score the sixth goal to take the game 6-0.

Once again, CWRU outshot their opponents 19-8 and maintained the corner kick advantage 7-1. Storti anchored the defense with a season-high six saves and improved to 17-0-1 for the year with the shutout, breaking her own program record for 16 wins from the previous year.  

Hartman, Storti, Washburn and fourth-year defender Merry Meyer were named to the All-UAA First Team. Hartzler earned All-UAA honorable mention honors. The coaching staff was named the Coaching Staff of the Year after leading the team to the program’s first conference championship. Coach Richter, in her first season with the team, shared the honor with assistant coaches Cameron Shedenhelm and Kayleigh Piscioneri as well as student coaches Rebecca Hammill and Grace Bratter. This is the second straight year the Spartan coaching staff earned this honor and the sixth time in history.

Hartman, Hartzler, Storti, VanBibber, Washburn and White were also named to the CSC Academic All-District Team, announced by the College Sports Communicators, for their high achievements on the field and in the classroom. All six athletes will advance to the Academic All-America Ballot, the winning teams to be announced on Dec. 6.

Washburn was named the Spartan Club Athlete of the Week for her dominant offensive play through the first two rounds of the tournament.

CWRU will host the three games of the third and fourth rounds of the Division III championship tournament from Nov. 19-20. The fourth-ranked Spartans will play on Saturday at 11 a.m. in the Round of 16 against the 15th-ranked Loras College (18-0-3). The winner of this game will play the winner between eighth-ranked Amherst College (18-2-0) and sixth-ranked William Smith College (13-1-6) on Sunday at 1 p.m. in a showdown for a trip to Salem, Virginia to play in the quarterfinals.