WVWC falls in NCAA tournament

EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. — Just like in 2014, West Virginia Wesleyan and East Stroudsburg battled to a 0-0 tie and went to a shootout to determine the winner. But this time, the Lady Bobcats suffered a heartwrenching defeat after penalty kicks in the NCAA tournament.

Wesleyan battled the home standing and number two seed Warriors hard throughout, and was ahead for most of the shootout. East Stroudsburg hit some clutch PK’s at the end of the shootout to pull out the victory.

The vaunted Weselyan defense delivered another shutout, while the goalkeeper tandem of Ashlee Schumacher and Chelsea Hubner again played strong.

In the shootout, Wesleyan goals were delivered by Natalie Prater, Carolyn Saulle, and Alex O’Brien. ESU scored on goals by Hannah Saggese, Jessica Woodbyrne, Sammi Ortiz, and the game winner by Jules Sicker.

Wesleyan applied some pressure in the initial overtime period, then fended off some intense Warrior pressure in the second overtime. Several key plays were made during this spree by the LBC defense.

“When you face a great team, there is the possibility of pressure being put on you at any time, and I thought our girls did a great job of rising to the task at a critical point in the match,” Holguin said. “It was a hard fought game on both sides and it could have went either way.”

This was Wesleyan’s fourth trip to the NCAA Tournament over the last four years, and the 18-win total is the highest in Coach Patrick Holguin’s eight-year career at the helm.

This was a special season for a special group of seniors. They graduate with a career record of 60-11-11.

“This class has meant a lot to the program,” Holguin said. “Their work ethic and commitment has produced the success we have enjoyed…they are graduating with three trips to NCAA Regionals.”

East Stroudsburg advances to face West Chester next week in the next round of the tournament.

WCU also won on penalty kicks, defeating Mountain East Conference member Notre Dame.