Griffins outlast Westminster to claim No. 2 seeding in SLIAC Tournament

Griffins outlast Westminster to claim No. 2 seeding in SLIAC Tournament

St. Louis, Mo. - Fontbonne University women's soccer sophomore Ellen Weaver scored the game winning goal in the 78th minute to lift the Griffins over Westminster College 4-3 tonight. The win is the seventh in conference for the Griffins who have earned a second place seeding in conference postseason play. 

Fontbonne's defense struggled against the fast Westminster forwards early. Westminster pressured early with a missed chance in the 14th minute and another fast break just a minute later that resulted in a penalty shot by Morgan Henry to give Westminster a 1-0 lead.

Fontbonne retaliated with a notch in the 18th minute as Meredith Wendt scored her 13th goal of the season from the top of the box to the right corner on as assist from Ellen Weaver.

Westminster went up 2-1 after a corner kick. Griffin senior goalkeeper Tayler Pulvirenti punched out the ticket in the middle of a swarm of players where Gracie Koonce was waiting near the opposite top of the box and sent the ball in for the advantage in the 25th minute.

Westminster's Sarah Cradick produced a great save in the 34th minute as Gontbonne junior Leann Smith bolted a shot from 15 yards out trying to tie the game.

Freshman Jacey Pate opened the second half with a shot in the first minute that hit the crossbar to get Griffins fans on their edge. A free kick at the end of the second minute from 35 yards out resulted in a shot by Pate that went wide right after a nice pass from Wendt. The Griffins kept up the offensive grind as senior Natalie Sipole slipped the ball to Pate in the box who turned around and evened the count 2-2 after 52 minutes of action.

Pulvirenti's huge sliding save just seven minutes later diverted Westminster's attempt to take the lead. The Blue Jays took the lead in the 65th minute as Wisnewski notched her third goal of the season.

Fontbonne earned a penalty shot with 15:16 remaining. Sophomore Daniele Caruso's shot slipped past the Blue Jay goalkeeper to tie the game 3-3.

Sophomore Maddie Tague fed Pate on a breakaway up the right side of the field. Pate's shot dribbled past the goalkeeper who got a hand on the ball and Weaver came in to tally the game winner as she sprinted past a Blue Jay to the ball and the open net. Pulvirenti earned her ninth win of the year.

Fontbonne's win allows the Griffins to host Spalding University on Wednesday, November 2 at 7 p.m in the semifinal round of the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament. 

The Griffins conclude regular season play this Saturday, October 29th at 1 p.m. with a game at home against Principia College. The Griffins will honor their outgoing seniors prior to the start of the game.