WestConn women to face Rochester in first round of NCAA soccer tournament

The Western Connecticut State University women's soccer team will play the University of Rochester in the first round of NCAA Division III national tournament at SUNY Oneonta on Friday at a time to be determined.

WestConn (15-4-1) captured the Little East Conference championship with a 1-0 triumph over UMass Boston in the tournament final on Sunday to earn an automatic berth into their ninth NCAA tournament (1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008). WestConn advanced to the national semifinals at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., in 2007.

Rochester (11-4-3) is coming off a 2-1 victory over Case Western in their season finale on Nov. 6. As a member of the University Athletic Association, Rochester does not participate in a conference post-season tournament.

Many of the WestConn players hail from this area.Senior forward Lauren Matthews, a former standout at Masuk High School in Monroe, leads a balanced Colonial offense with 22 points. She has a team-high 10 goals, including the game-winner on Sunday against the Beacons.

Jennifer Duran of Shelton follows with eight goals and four assists for 20 points. She netted the game-winner in WestConn's 1-0 victory over Keene State in the LEC tournament semifinals on Friday.

Graduate student Nicole Sieber of Newtown, a former Immaculate High star, follows with 18 points and six goals, while junior Jillian Duran of Shelton has six goals and four assists for 16 points.

Defensively, WestConn has set a school record with 13 straight shutouts, dating back to Sept. 22. Williams College defeated the Colonials 1-0 after a two-hour lightning delay that night and WestConn has not yielded a goal since.

Sophomore keeper Caitlin Avery has a 0.42 goals against average and has made 46 saves in 19 outings. She has eight of the team's 14 shutouts.

The defense is bolstered by LEC Tournament Most Outstanding Player Tina Dias of Shelton, Erika Moran, also of Shelton, and Samantha Trayer. The Colonials have allowed just nine goals all season and yielded just two goals in Little East Conference play.