By: Katie Obear – Staff Writer
The University of Dayton women’s soccer team participated in the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament in Richmond, Va., almost capturing its ninth A10 title before falling in the championship game to La Salle University in penalty kicks.
This championship officially began Thursday, Nov. 7, and ended Sunday, Nov. 10.
The teams involved in the Championship, seeded from first to eighth, were: 2012 champion La Salle, Saint Louis University, George Washington University, Virginia Commonwealth University, UD, the University of Massachusetts, St. Bonaventure University and George Mason University.
The tournament began with a match between La Salle University and George Washington University Thursday. La Salle swept GWU away with a shutout win, 2-0.
That same day, Saint Louis University took on the University of Massachusetts. UMass controlled the ball and had possession for a majority of the first half, however the score was still 0-0.
At the end of regulation game, the score was still tied. UMass defeated the Billikens in a shootout, scoring five penalty kicks.
The Flyers began their first match of the tournament against VCU. The Rams scored early in the first half during the eighth minute of play. However, Dayton quickly took the lead,scoring five goals in a row.
Sophomore midfielder Ashley Campbell scored her seventeenth goal of the season, adding the final goal to the Dayton lead. VCU began to comeback though, bringing the score to 5-4. However, the Flyers secured the win.
“We felt good, we felt confident, and we knew what we had to do,” head coach Mike Tucker said.
For the final game Thursday night, St. Bonaventure took on the newest member of the Atlantic 10, George Mason, winning 1-0.
The second day of tournament play began with four teams remaining. La Salle would take on UMass, while the Flyers would take on St. Bonaventure.
La Salle started the day by defeating UMass, 1-0. The Explorers had a strong offensive presence during the first half and kept UMass from getting on the board.
At the end of regulation game, it was tied at 0-0. In overtime, La Salle scored, giving them the win and allowing them to move on to the finals.
Dayton then took on St. Bonaventure and won 4-1. The Flyers scored four goals in the second half after trailing 1-0. Dayton’s offensive players had a strong presence around the box and outshot the Bonnies throughout the game by a 35-5 margin.
The Flyers faced off against on La Salle in the championship game. At the end of regulation, the score was tied 1-1. Both teams made four of its first five shots in the first round of PKs.
“We felt pretty good going in, but we were challenged a bit,” Tucker said.
When the Flyers attempted their sixth shot, La Salle junior goalkeeper Katie Getzinger saved the ball on a shot by UD junior midfielder Haley Keller, making La Salle the A10 Champions again.
“In the finals we played to the best of our abilities, but it just was an unlucky day for us,” freshman forward Meghan Blank said.
La Salle received an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament with its title, which begins on November 15. Dayton, despite going 14-5-2 and being the regular season champion, ended the season without an at-large bid to the tournament.
Despite this loss, the Flyers and Tucker were still proud of fellow team members, as senior midfielder Juliana Libertin, and sophomores midfielder Nicole Waters and Campbell earned All-Championship Team accolades.
“We could have won the game any number of times, and were inches away from doing it,” Tucker said.