Liston sets single-season shutout mark in tournament win
Carnegie Mellon women’s soccer won their first round matchup in the NCAA tournament 3–0 over Penn State Berks. Even the lopsided score does not justify how thoroughly Carnegie Mellon dominated the flow of play. The crowd engaged in some playful banter with the referee — not entirely unwarranted — but it would take more than just a few missed calls to put a dent in the conquering of the Tartans’ opponents. Carnegie Mellon was the faster, smarter, and more talented team from wire to wire, and convincingly advanced in the NCAA tournament.
The first half frustrated the Tartans as they put up chance after chance with ill-timed mistakes and bad luck foiling the opponent, which led to a scoreless half. The Tartan’s first chance came just as the game started, when a cross was played into the box, slipping just past two Tartan forwards, setting the tone for a match where Berks could muster no real chances. Carnegie Mellon found more chances in the eighth, 10th, and 13th minutes. All of those times were close calls to breaking the deadlock, but Carnegie Mellon just could not find the back of the net. Berks’ deepest possession of the half appeared in a hopeless run into the corner that culminated in a corner kick that was quickly turned away by Carnegie Mellon’s defense.
Carnegie Mellon’s best chance might have come in the 22nd minute when junior midfielder Carson Quiros beat two defenders and nearly slotted the ball into the bottom right corner, but the shot missed narrowly. Quiros did more than shoot; her presence in midfield played a huge part in Carnegie Mellon’s maintenance of the ball in the attacking third, mounting the pressure on Berks.
The floodgates opened for the Tartans in the second half. Ten minutes into the half, the Tartans finally got on the board after a gorgeous chip from senior defender Lauren Simicich. She had been overlapping with some success all game, setting up lots of attacking play. The ball found senior forward Savina Reid on the right side of the box, who tapped the ball across the goal to sophomore forward Megan Bartoshuk. Bartoshuk then beat the Berks keeper on two touches by putting the ball into the right side of the net, pushing the Tartans in front 1–0. In the 66th minute, the Tartans added to their lead as junior midfielder Amanda Broderick put a corner directly in front of the goal while Reid split the keeper and a defender, putting Carnegie Mellon up 2–0. Carnegie Mellon continued to dominate and left no chance for Berks to redeem themselves.
While the excellent work by Carnegie Mellon’s midfield and defense left sophomore goalkeeper Katie Liston with little to do during the match, she was on point when the moment called for it. Liston set the Carnegie Mellon record for shutouts in a season, with her 12th of the year. She has let in only six goals for the entire year.
Carnegie Mellon’s third goal came in the closing moments of the game, as first-year defender Katie Strycharz and first-year forward Sienna Stritter set up first-year midfielder Nicole Winegardner, who beat the keeper to the right, and finalized the score at 3–0.
Carnegie Mellon continued their tournament run after an overtime victory over Catholic Univerisity of America 2–1 on a winner from Bartoshuk.