The Dons took to the pitch last Saturday with a chance to clinch the WCC title. The Portland Pilots were the last team standing in their way of taking home top honors. Unfortunately suffering a 1-0 defeat, coupled with a BYU win over St. Mary’s left the Dons short of a crown and looking up in second place. The team had to wait until Monday for the announcement of the 64 teams to take part in the national tournament. With a No. 62 RPI San Francisco was considered a bubble team and unfortunately were bounced from the final bracket.
The loss to the Pilots was tough to swallow, especially since USF was having their way offensively for most of the game. In the first half alone USF was able to get off eight shots, five of which forced Portland keeper, De Haan, to make a save. The Dons also kept the pressure on with three corner kicks. Even with numerous offensive chances in the first 45 minutes the Dons just couldn’t find a goal. Defender Sydnie Telson had two of USF’s best first half chances. In the 15th minute Telson took control after a corner kick delivery and fired a shot that bounced off the post and away from goal. Telson’s second chance in the 44th minute was a header from close range which also found De Haan’s hands. Forward Alex Alugas, forward Jessica Nakae, midfielder Amanda Whittle and midfielder Micaela Mercado all had first half shots saved as well. With momentum rolling from the first half, the Don’s tried to find their stride but couldn’t get in rhythm. In the 53rd minute the Pilots found the back of the net Allison Wetherington. Portland went on the defensive to preserve the 1-0 lead, the rest of the way through they only took one more shot while the Dons tried to battle back with eight more shots of their own but the two shots on goal were saved. By game’s end USF had taken 16 shots, seven on goal and three corner kicks. Goalkeeper Madalyn Schiffel only made one save but she was unable to secure the one save she needed.
With this defeat the Dons finish their season 13-4-3 and 7-2-0 in the WCC. USF heads to the offseason with a second place finish, the best finish the team has ever had.
Photo courtesy of Dons Athletics