Marlins Advance to NCAA Women's Soccer Second Round

Virginia Wesleyan sophomore Alex Davidson
Virginia Wesleyan sophomore Alex Davidson

EWING, N.J. --- The high-powered offense of Virginia Wesleyan University carried the Marlin women's soccer team to the second round of the NCAA Division III National Tournament with a 3-2 victory over Tufts University on Saturday.

Saturday's victory was the first in the NCAA Tournament for the Marlins since the 2007 season, ending a span of six-straight tournament appearances without a win. The Marlins will now face host, and No. 1 team in the nation, TCNJ on Sunday for a spot in the Round of 16. TCNJ defeated Roger Williams 3-0 in the first game Saturday.

The Marlins started the scoring Saturday when Brooke Adamchak sent a corner in to Alex Davidson who chipped it into the goal at the 10:40 mark. That lead lasted up 26:58 when Davidson scored again off a Mia Meinhardt assist.

Tufts ended the VWU bid for a clean sheet at 41:17 when Emma Ranalli capitalized on a free kick from 30 yards out.

Virginia Wesleyan found pay dirt once again in the first half in the 44th minute when Mary Alexis Jackson crossed it into the box where Kennedy Skala netted her fourth goal of the season.

The defenses stepped up play in the second half as just one goal found the back of the net. Tufts cut the deficit to just one when Alessandra Sadler found Sophie Lloyd for a finesse goal in the 62nd minute.

Tufts tried to even the contest, putting two shots on goal in the next 13 minutes, but Alicia Zamora sent away both. The Marlins tried to post an insurance goal in the 76th minute as Marli Hayward had two looks on net, but Emily Bowers saved both.

The Jumbos limited the Marlins from there while trying to equalize the match. Sarah Maloney took a shot at 84:03 that Zamora saved. Tufts kept the pressure up, taking a shot at 88:53 that was blocked. Maloney got another look 14 seconds later, but her attempt banged off the crossbar. Sadler followed with a look of her own, but the attempt sailed high. The Marlins shut down Tufts after that.

Zamora made five saves for the Marlins while Bowers made six stops for Tufts (10-6-3).

Shots were even at 16-all, while Tufts maintained a narrow 5-4 edge in corner kicks.

Virginia Wesleyan (15-6-1) will face No. 1 TCNJ (19-0) on Sunday at 1 p.m. The two squads last faced off in last year's season opener, a 3-0 TCNJ win at the Trinder Center.

--- This release is courtesy of the Virginia Wesleyan University sports information department. ---
www.vwuathletics.com