By Justin Bercovich
Playing in unfamiliar territory, the UC Santa Cruz women’s soccer team traveled to St. Louis last Sunday where they shut out Webster College 4-0 to advance to the third round of the NCAA DIII playoffs, the furthest the team has ever gone in postseason play.
Sophomore Annick Lamb, the team’s leading goal scorer, got the Slugs on the board early with a goal just five minutes into the game. Lamb added another goal 30 minutes in, and freshmen Wendy Funk and Kira Ticus provided the rest of the offense, scoring first half goals as well.
"We didn’t really know what to expect," sophomore Morgan McCarthy said of her team’s preparation for the game. "Since [Webster College] got a first-round bye, we figured it was going to be a tough game. We had a really good pre-game warm up. Everyone was on the same page and playing well together."
Now the undefeated Slugs will advance to the "Sweet 16," where they will play the similarly undefeated Hardin-Simmons College Friday afternoon in Illinois. Hardin-Simmons knocked out top-ranked Trinity University (TX) last weekend, 2-1.
"They are going to be a really tough team," McCarthy said. "It’s really going to be a battle. Both teams are going to come out strong."
The Slugs (15-0-3 regular season) beat rival Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at home last week, 3-0, in first-round action.
Should the Slugs beat Hardin-Simmons, they will take on the winner of the Wisconsin Eau Claire-Wheaton (Illinois) match.
In a single-elimination tournament, the exhaustion from travel can’t be used as an excuse.
"It doesn’t matter where we’re playing or who we’re playing," McCarthy added. "We just know that every game has to be our best game."