Last Friday and Sunday the Dons played two of their last three games of the season against Pacific (3-12-1) and St. Mary’s (7-8-4). Both games ended with results in San Francisco’s favor, a 2-1 win against the Gaels and a 1-0 win against the Tigers. With an outstanding 13-3-3 record, the Dons are now a win or draw away from claiming their first ever WCC Title and earning a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
In Sunday’s game against the Gaels, the Dons hit hard and hit fast out of the gate. At the six minute mark San Francisco drew first blood thanks to freshman midfielder Samantha Jehnings and her team-leading seventh goal of the season. Jehnings latched onto a cross into the box from senior forward Alex Alugas. Sophomore midfielder Camille Wilson drew a foul outside the box from 18 yards out. Wilson’s free kick was a brilliant one as it curled over the St. Mary’s defensive wall and into the left corner for the Dons’ second goal of the game and her fourth of the season. In the 23rd minute the Gaels nearly pulled a goal back as they packed on the pressure. A headed shot by Anne Whipple was blocked and seven seconds later a shot by Valerie Laforge was saved by senior Madalyn Schiffel. Schiffel’s save turned into an SMC corner kick, the ensuing shot was high. Schiffel had to make three more saves throughout the rest of the first half, totaling four through the first 45 minutes. As the second half progressed the Dons controlled the flow, tallying four corner kicks and four shots in comparison to the Gaels two shots up until the 74th minute. St. Mary’s finally found the back of the net after a cross was sent into the six yard box and a point blank shot was fired in under Schiffel’s glove by Samantha Dion. It was the last shot SMC would take the rest of the game as the Dons went on to win 2-1.
Though the game against Pacific ended 1-0, there certainly wasn’t a lack of offensive chances. An uneventful first half had eight shots and two corner kicks from the Dons, while the Tigers had two shots and one corner kick. Pacific goalkeeper Lena Perry was a little busier than USF’s keeper having to scoop up three saves in comparison to Schiffel’s one in the first half. The back and forth momentum of the game continued in the second half as both teams struggled to keep a consistent offensive rhythm. The Dons finally put a goal on the board when junior midfielder Amanda Whittle scored the game-winner in the 86th minute. By the games end USF had taken 17 shots, seven on goal, and Pacific 10, six on goal. USF took eight corner kicks to the Tigers four. Madalyn Schiffel had another fantastic game in between the sticks racking up six saves, tying her season high.
The Don’s 20th and final game of the season is upon them. San Francisco will head to Portland, Oregon to play the Portland Pilots at 7PM on Saturday, Nov. 7th. USF controls their own fate, a win or draw earns them their first ever WCC Title and an invite to the NCAA tournament. Be sure to cheer on the team and keep up to date with live stats on usfdons.com. Wish them well as they look to make history.
Photo courtesy of Dons Athletics