Women’s Soccer Takes On Wheaton Tonight At NCAA Tourney

Posted on November 13th, 2015 by

WHITEWATER, Wis. – For the seventh time in program history and the first time since 1998, the Gustavus women’s soccer team is making an appearance in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournament. The Gusties (13-6-1) received the No. 3 seed in the Whitewater, Wis. regional and are set to face the No. 2 seed Wheaton College (15-6) at 8 p.m. Friday at Fiskum Field.

Live online coverage of tonight’s match begins at 8 p.m. (First game went into overtime, pushing back the start time)






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After starting the season with a mediocre 0-3-1 record, the Gusties found their groove and won 10 of the next 11 games. Gustavus finished the regular season 11-6-1 overall and 8-3 in the MIAC, which placed it as the second seed in the conference playoffs. After a first round bye, the Gusties defeated Concordia 2-0 in the semifinals, followed by a 1-0 victory over St. Thomas for the MIAC Playoff title.

Wheaton has been consistent all season long besides a brief lull at the end of the regular season where the Thunder dropped three of four games. The Thunder rebounded well after those losses with a 2-1 overtime victory over Augustana to start the CCIW Tournament, followed by a 1-0 victory over Illinois Wesleyan for the conference title.


There is not a whole lot to compare the Gusties and Thunder when looking at the schedule. The two teams faced a similar opponent only once this season. Gustavus tied UW-Eau Claire 2-2 in the first game of the season, while Wheaton beat UW-Eau Claire 1-0 on Oct. 7.


Gustavus boasts four players on this year’s MIAC All-Conference Team. Keeper Ashley Becker (Fy., Farmington, Minn.) earned Rookie-of-the-Year as she has posted a 0.97 goals against average and a .811 save percentage. Becker’s 13 wins and 11 shutouts both rank first in the MIAC. Maddison Ackiss (Jr., Fairbanks, Alaska) is the Gusties’ top goal-scorer as she has found the back of the net nine times, including four game-winners. Sophie Leininger (So., Plymouth, Minn.) has been key to the team’s offensive production with a team-best nine assists, which is just one shy of tying the Gustavus single season assist record. The fourth Gustie on the All-MIAC team is defender Josie Mazzone (So., Rapid City, S.D.) who is a leader on a Gustie defense that ranked fourth in the league with a 0.97 goals against average. Mazzone has also contributed two assists. Laura Burnett-Kurie, who was named MIAC Coach-of-the-Year in her fourth season, directs the Gusties from the sidelines.


Wheaton has a storied women’s soccer program and it has continued that tradition this season with its 12th CCIW Playoff Championship out of 14 years the conference has held playoffs. This year’s NCAA Tournament appearance is Wheaton’s 19th consecutive and it has won the national championship three times (2004, ’06, ’07). Last season at the national tournament, the Thunder lost 1-0 in double overtime to Hope in the first round.

This year’s team is led by three First Team All-CCIW members, including Co-Player-of-Year Ally Witt (Sr., Hanover Park, Ill.). Witt has tallied 10 goals with five assists. Annie Wooldridge (Jr., Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Sarah Van Wingerden (So., Mahomet, Ill.) also earned First Team honors in the midfield. Wooldridge has played all 21 games with five assists and one goal, while Van Wingerden has also played in all 21 matches with two goals and one assist. Abby Fuster (So., Wheaton, Ill.) has seen the bulk of the goalkeeping duties with a 12-6 record, 1.20 goals against average and a .744 save percentage.


Tonight’s match is the sixth meeting between Gustavus and Wheaton in women’s soccer. The Thunder leads the all-time series 3-2. The last meeting between the two teams was Sept. 8, 2001 at Wheaton as the Thunder won 4-1.


One Comment

  1. Mark Jekel says:

    I was interested in this game, but can’t believe that it is not videotaped! How can the Gusties make it to the national championship and have only audio of the game?

    This should be corrected.

    Thank you