DAYTON, Ohio - The third seeded Saint Joseph's women's soccer team fell to second seed VCU, 2-1, in the semifinals of the 2018 Atlantic 10 Championship on Friday at Baujan Field on the campus of the University of Dayton. Making their third consecutive appearance in the semifinals of the conference tournament, the Hawks finish with their second-most wins in a single season at 14-5-2.
VCU opened the scoring early as Samantha Jerabek scored 2:22 into the match to make it 1-0 in favor of the Rams.
Putting pressure on for a majority of the first period, Saint Joseph's finally broke through in the 56th minute on sophomore Morgan Bower's team-leading eight goal. Off a pass inside the Rams' box from freshman Mackenzie Ehresman, Bower drilled a shot to the back left of the net to even the game at 1-1 at 55:50.
Pushing the pace of play, SJU couldn't pull ahead, while VCU capitalized on its best chance. With the ball down the right wing, VCU centered a pass into the SJU box that senior goalkeeper Grace Bendon punched out. Unfortunately for the Hawks, the ball bounced to the Rams' Ingrid Brouwer at the top of the box who headed the ball back into an open net to make it 2-1 at 75:06.
Saint Joseph's continued to fight, tallying five of its game-high 21 shots in the final 14 minutes, however the Hawks were unable to draw even.
For the Hawks' senior class, they finish their impressive careers setting a new four-year total for games played (83), guided SJU to four consecutive A-10 Championship berths and captured the 2016 regular season A-10 title.
Individually, Paige Bergman and Taylor Ryan set new career marks for starts (83) with Bergman recording a program record 25 assists.
In goal, Bendon set new single-season and career marks for victories with 32 and 14, respectively, and tied for the all-time shutouts mark (16).
Setting a program record for goals (18) and points (41) in a year in 2016, senior Dakota Mills finishes her career second all-time in goals (25), third in points (80) and fifth in shots (196), while Hannah Racis ranks eighth in points (43) and tied for eighth in goals (17).
Playing in all 83 games the past four years, Michaela Finneyfrock capped her career among SJU's top-15 in career points (33), with Jessica Volm helping the class to a combined 56 victories over the last four years.
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