Women’s soccer team takes second place in NCAA Division IIIBy Josh Schonwald
Concluding the best season in the program’s history, the University’s women soccer team took home second place in the 2003 NCAA Division III women’s national tournament in Oneonta, N.Y., on Sunday, Nov. 30.
Chicago (17-2-4), which had won a double-overtime game on Saturday, Nov. 29, to reach the final, was leading 1-0, and was only 30 seconds away from winning the first Division III title in school history, when the State University of New York at Oneonta tied the game. Oneonta got the game-winning goal two minutes and 54 seconds in the first overtime period to defeat Chicago, 2-1.
The Maroons’ second-place finish marked the best-ever performance by a Chicago team sport in NCAA Division III competition. No other Chicago sports team has advanced to the final of a Division III NCAA tournament.
Second-year midfielder Jacqui DeLeon, who scored the team’s lone goal in the final, was one of three Maroons to earn selection to the all-tournament team. She joined second-year forward Renee Neuner and second-year defender Diana Connett. Connett also was cited as the tournament’s most valuable defensive player.
The Maroons advanced to the national title game on Saturday, Nov. 29, by beating DePauw University 2-1 in double overtime. Chicago took an early lead in that game at the 60:53 mark when second-year Monica Michelotti ran through a cross by Neuner and put it past the DePauw goalie.
Throughout the season, the squad set many individual and team records. As a team, the Maroons set a new mark for most wins in a season (17) by any Chicago soccer team, men’s or women’s. They tied the mark for most wins in a row with nine, and they scored 63 goals this season, eclipsing the previous mark of 54 from last year.
Neuner broke her own single-season goal scoring record, set a year ago, with 21 goals. She now holds the all-time Chicago goal scoring record of 41. With 11 assists this season, first-year Misa Bretschneider now holds the single-season assist record, and the team’s goal keeper Andrea Przybysz now holds the record for most minutes in a season with 2,082.