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Sarah smile: Keeper keeps season going for Women's Soccer

Sarah smile: Keeper keeps season going for Women's Soccer

No. 19-ranked St. Thomas Women's Soccer stood up to a green wave of offense from Illinois Wesleyan over the first 55:00 of Sunday's second-round NCAA playoff game at South Field.

Junior keeper Sarah Pasternak and the Purple defense weathered a barrage of good shots by the Titans. And at game's end, the Tommies had a 1-0 victory and a ticket to the round of 16.

In improving her season record to 10-1-3, Pasternak had eight saves, all in the game's first 55 minutes. She helped her team avenge a 2-1 loss to the Titans in September.

The Tommies have allowed just one goal in their last eight games, including one in four postseason contests.

St. Thomas (17-2-3) is in the NCAA round of 16 for the first time since 2002. It has opened NCAA tournament play with two victories for the first time since 1987.

Coach Sheila McGill's Tommies posted their 14th shutout of the season. They extended their current unbeaten streak to 15 (12-0-3) and their home field unbeaten streak to 26 games.

Junior Ellie Eskierka scored in the 39th minute, assisted by junior Kate Heimer and sophomore Maddie Bomsta. It was Eskierka's third goal in eight postseason games over two seasons.

The Tommies are 20-0-1 in games in her career when Heimer scores a point.

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