NORTHFIELD, Minn. – The Carleton College women’s soccer team’s string of three consecutive NCAA Championship appearances came to an end as the Knights did not receive one of 21 at-large bids to this year’s national tournament.
The Knights (11-6-2, 8-3-1 MIAC) earned a share of the program’s third MIAC title with a convincing 3-0 victory over St. Olaf College in the regular-season finale. Carleton advanced to the conference tournament for the fourth straight year but lost to Concordia College, 2-1, in the semifinals. Three of Carleton’s six losses this year came to teams in the NCAA field.
Carleton earned the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s automatic bid in 2008 and advanced all the way to the “Elite Eight” in its first-ever trip to the national tournament. The Knights again captured the AQ in 2009, and they advanced to the second round of last year’s NCAA Championships as an at-large team.
Seniors Cassie Burke (Sunfish Lake, Minn./Minnehaha Academy), Linnea Carlson (Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township), Rachel Foran (River Forest, Ill./Oak Park River Forest), Niki Tomita (Redwood City, Calif./Woodside), Lily VanderStaay (Bellingham, Wash.), and Abby Wills (Sr./Portland, Ore./St. Mary's) finish their careers with a 54-21-9 (.696) overall record including a 32-7-5 (.784) mark in MIAC play.
“This senior class has had a tremendous impact on the program, and their competitive track record speaks for itself,” said Carleton head coach Keren Gudeman. “They have been the most successful class in the history of the program and have raised our standards. Most importantly we will miss their leadership, unique personalities and passion.”
The North Region got four ranked squads into the 64-team field. Loras College earned the IIAC’s AQ, while Concordia, Wartburg College, and Wisconsin-Whitewater each claimed Pool C (at-large) berths. Four other unranked teams— Carroll University (Midwest), College of Saint Benedict (MIAC), St. Scholastica (UMAC), and Wisconsin-Oshkosh (WIAC)—also earned their respective conferences automatic bids.