The second-seeded Wittenberg Tigers advanced to the finals of the 2013 North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament after defeating third-seeded Denison in penalty kicks, 3-0, on Wednesday night in Springfield.
In the early stages of the opening half, Wittenberg earned three-consecutive corner kicks, all of which were turned away by senior goalie Andrea Karl and the Big Red defense.
In the 10th minute, Denison gained some momentum when sophomore Andrea Witte sent a pass from the right side that was touched just wide of the goal by freshman Anne Denz. Midway through the period, Witte had two more quality scoring chances. In the 28th minute, the sophomore midfielder settled a cross in the box, made a quick turn and ripped a shot that was corralled by Kelsey Lorko. Roughly a minute later, Witte fired a deep shot that required another stop from Lorko.
The Tigers missed a golden opportunity when Michelle Brunswick failed to bury the ball into a wide open net after Karl punched out an initial Wittenberg shot. In the 40th minute, the home team had another chance at an open net, but an extra pass by Tobie Weston to Chelsey Marcum allowed the DU defense and Karl to reset and keep the Tigers off the board.
With time winding down, DU had one more chance to score before the intermission. In the 41st minute, Witte unloaded a deep free kick that nearly went over Lorko and under the crossbar. However, the Wittenberg netminder successfully kept the ball out of the back of the goal.
Early in the second period, Denz sent a cross from the right side that just cleared the head of freshman Meg Sutter. Despite the early scoring opportunity, the second half belonged to Wittenberg as they outshot the Big Red, 9-4. Of the nine Tiger attempts, Karl made six saves to keep it a scoreless contest.
Each team had a chance during the 20 minutes of overtime. In the 92nd minute, Lindsay Jamney pushed a shot wide of the goal off a corner kick. In the 109th minute, Berlet fed a pass to Cheverine, but a slip on the shot attempt pushed the ball off goal. In the shootout, the Tigers scored on their first three attempts, while Denison couldn't find the back of the net in three chances.
Wittenberg outshot DU 18-13, including an 11-6 advantage in shots on goal. The Tigers also attempted 13 corner kicks compared to just four for DU. Denz and Witte led the Big Red offense with four and three shots, respectively, while freshman Jessica Skelly also had two attempts on goal. Karl finished the game with 10 saves in 110 minutes between the pipes.
Denison wraps up the 2013 season with a 9-7-3 record, while the Tigers (9-6-5) advanced to play Allegheny in the 2013 NCAC Tournament Championship match in Meadville, Pa.