(Photo and story courtesy of Trinity University athletics)
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - The second-ranked Trinity women's soccer team advanced to the NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championship Quarterfinals with a 2-0 shutout victory over Penn State Berks Saturday afternoon.
The game featured the two top-scoring teams in Division III, but neither team could break through for a goal in the first half.
Penn State Berks actually had the best chances to get on the board, but Trinity defender Jordan Bethea cleared two balls off the line in a span of just over a minute.
After halftime, Trinity got on the board quickly, as Jordan Leeper sent a high cross into the box, and Chelsea Cole connected for the eventual game-winner in the 48th minute.
The Tiger defense, which allowed three shots in the first half, yielded just one chance in the second half to preserve the win.
Meredith Licata dribbled through the defense into the 18-yard box in the 84th minute, then ripped a shot past the keeper to give Trinity a 2-0 advantage with less than seven minutes to play.
- Trinity improved its record to 23-0-0, while Penn State Berks finished the season at 19-4-1. The Tigers and Nittany Lions met for the first time in their history.
- The Tigers, competing in their 22nd NCAA Championship, advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time since 2013. Trinity fought its way to title game that year, in the tournament played at San Antonio's Toyota Field.
- Chelsea Cole recorded her eighth goal of the season, and the third game-winner. Jordan Leeper's assist gave her a team-leading 10th assist in her column.
- Meredith Licata picked up her ninth scoring play of the campaign.
- Janie Thompson guarded the net for the full 90 minutes to earn her seventh shutout, which was the 16th clean-sheet game of the season for the Tigers.
Trinity will host eighth-ranked Washington-St. Louis University in the Quarterfinals at 1:00 p.m. Sunday.