The Stars soccer season has ended after being eliminated in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Nov. 11. Both female and male teams won their conference championships in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC) Tournament.
The NACC Tournament was a huge success for both of Dominican soccer teams. Both teams were given an automatic spot in the semifinals, skipping the first round of play, due to their second place finish within the conference. The men defeated Benedictine and the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) to move on to the NCAA Tournament. The women defeated Concordia University Wisconsin and MSOE.
The men defeated Benedictine in River Forest 2-1 in the semi-finals. Dominican goals came from sophomore Nico Vitale assisted by sophomore Isaac Perez, and sophomore Corbin Voyles, who scored unassisted. Voyles’ goal proved to be the game-winner.
Dominican was outshot 9-6 but still managed to win the game. Strong goalkeeping from freshman Brendon Martin also greatly contributed to the win, making 7 saves on 8 shots on goal.
The women’s team defeated Concordia Wisconsin with a 3-0 shutout in the semi-finals. Sophomore Josseline Williams scored the first and third goals for Dominican, and senior Alyssa Messina scored the second goal. Assists came from Messina and senior Kaitlyn Tripp on the first goal, junior Tania Paez on the second, and senior Tania Martinez on the third.
The Stars outshot Concordia 15-9, and had 9 shots on goal compared to 3 from Concordia. Concordia played the more physical game, picking up 16 fouls compared to Dominicans 9.
Both of Dominican teams moved on to play MSOE in the NACC Tournament final.
The men’s team defeated MSOE 2-1 in River Forest in the final game. MSOE led the game 1-0 going into the 2nd half, but senior Nestor Ascencio tied the game with a turnover goal early in the second-half. Sophomore Isaac Perez scored the game winner shortly after, assisted by junior Michael Delaney.
MSOE led the shot count after the 1st half, but Dominican came out strong in the second half and outshot their opponent when it mattered most. Both teams played a very physical game, being called for 19 fouls each.
The women’s team defeated MSOE 2-0 in Milwaukee, WI, to pick up their second shutout of the tournament. MSOE played a close game, but Dominican’s strong defense and goalkeeping kept them off the scoresheet.
Williams started the scoring early with a penalty kick goal. Tania Paez scored late in the game to insure the Stars’ lead. The game was fairly evenly matched statistically, with both teams getting 11 shots. Dominican had 5 on net compared to MOE’s 4.
Dominican soccer teams were headed to the NCAA Tournament after wins over the Milwaukee School of Engineering. The women won their first conference championship in program history.
The men were selected to take on Capital University from Columbus, OH, in the first round. The women were selected to play the defending national champions, Washington University from St. Louis, MO.
The men’s team was defeated 2-1 in an incredibly hard-fought effort against Capital University. Regulation time was not sufficient to find a game-winner and the two teams battled into a second overtime.
Capital University opened the scoring a little over 30 minutes into the first half to carry a 1-0 lead into the second half. Dominican senior Adam Yaghmour tied the game with an individual effort off his own rebound in the second half.
The first overtime did not yield any results on the scoreboard, but did have an effect on the game. Dominican coach was ejected from the game for arguing with an official, and the team was given a red card. Dominican was also unable to get a shot in the first overtime.
The second overtime was action-packed. Dominican came out strong, and had three strong goal-scoring opportunities within minutes of each other. The ball went the other way, however, and Capital University scored from the right side to end the game and the Stars’ season.
Dominican outshot Capital 22-16, but had less actually hit the net with 10 shots on goal for Capital compared to 6 from Dominican. Goalkeeper Brendan Martin played a strong game, making eight saves. The game was incredibly physical and hard-fought, finishing with a combined total of 45 fouls. Capital played the more physical game, picking up 27 fouls compared to Dominican 18.
The women’s team struggled against the defending national champions in a 5-0 loss to Washington University in St. Louis.
Washington came out strong in the first half, carrying a 2-0 lead. Dominican struggled to generate any sort of offense. Washington carried their commanding effort into the second half as well, and scored two goals within minutes of each other to put the game out of reach for Dominican at 4-0.
The Stars were scored on again in the final minutes off a give-and-go play from Washington, ending the game with a 5-0 final score.
Washington was dominant offensively and defensively. They had 39 total shots – 16 of those on net. Dominican only had one shot in the whole game. The lone shot came from the NACC regular season leading scorer, Williams. The Stars were often shut down before even getting to the net.
Dominican goalkeeper freshman Abbey Brown, made 11 saves despite high offensive pressure throughout the game. Washington’s goalkeeper only had to make one save.
First round elimination was a disappointing end to dominant and hopeful seasons from both Dominican soccer teams. Both teams deserve accolades for their impressive regular seasons and conference championships. Overall, this was a tremendously successful season for both programs. Hopefully these efforts can be motivation for further success next season.