BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – The No. 14 Olivet Nazarene University women’s soccer team is one step closer to earning their return to the NAIA National Championships and a chance to see if they can improve on last year’s runner-up finish. The Tigers (15-3-1) defeated the University of St. Francis (Ill.) 3-1 in the opening round of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Tournament on Saturday, Nov. 9.
Freshman Jenna Ayers (Colfax, Ill.) picked up the game winning goal for Olivet at the 23:07 mark off of an assist by sophomore Liz Wahl (Homer Glen, Ill.). Freshman Haily Pellegrom (Spring Lake, Mich.) added another first half goal when she found the back of the net at 33:17, her first as a Tiger.
The Fighting Saints moved within one when Brooke Polus netted an Alex Truhlar corner kick at 72:00. Sophomore Betsy Hetrick (Plainfield, Ill.) found the goal for the 18th time this season off of a pass from Ayers at 86:33 to put the Tigers up 3-1.
Freshman keeper Sarah Vrosh (Ada, Mich.) finished the night with two saves. The Tiger defense, anchored by senior Rachel Kilbry (Spring Lake, Mich.) allowed just nine shots on the night.
The Tigers will take on Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.) in the semifinals on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 5:00 p.m. The No. 6 seeded Wolves upset No. 3 Trinity Christian College (Ill.) to advance to the semifinals match. Olivet defeated Cardinal Stritch 4-0 on Oct. 15 when the two teams faced off in the regular season.