A team for the ages

Team captains (left to right) seniors Lexi Gomez, Anika Washburn, Merry Meyer and Elizabeth White with the national runner-up trophy.

a team for the ages

The Women’s Soccer Team went where no CWRU team has gone before.

A dream season ended for the CWRU Women’s Soccer Team Dec. 4 with a crushing loss to Johns Hopkins University in the national championship game, but this team will be forever enshrined in Case Western Reserve athletics.


Bolstered by science and engineering students, the lady Spartans set new standards and riveted campus with dramatic wins and record-setting accomplishments. The loss in the NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer Championship brought an end to one of the most successful seasons ever by a Spartan team in any sport.


The national second place finish matches the best finish by any CWRU team in school history and is the best finish ever for a CWRU women’s team, according the CWRU Department of Physical Education and Athletics.


With a record of 20-1-1, the team set a program record for wins in a season and finished 6-0-1 in the University Athletic Association–en route to winning the first conference championship in team history.


Then there was the dramatic run for the title. In the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament, CWRU was down by two goals with 32 minutes left to play against William Smith College when the team rallied to score four goals for the win. They then dispatched with Virginia Wesleyan, 3-0, in the semifinals.


Both CWRU and Johns Hopkins were playing in the national championship for the first time when they met Dec. 4 at Kerr Field in Salem, Virginia. CWRU was ranked 4th in the nation; Hopkins was ranked 2nd. After 90 minutes of intense soccer, Hopkins prevailed, 2-1.


The team includes more than a dozen engineering majors and numerous students majoring in the sciences. The national championship was the final game for seniors like co-captain Anika Washburn, a computer science major and a first team All American; Gretta Lazara, a chemical engineering major and an All-American; and co-captain Elizabeth White, a civil engineering major.


White and Washburn, along with first-year midfielder Jamie Goldfarb and senior defender Lexi Gomez, were named to the All-Tournament Team following the game.


White was also honored with the NCCAA’s Elite 90 Award, recognizing her for bringing the highest grade point average—a perfect 4.0– to the championship tournament.


On Dec. 6, White and Washburn as well as  Helina VanBibbe, who is a Cognitive Science Major, were named  Academic All Americans.

The CWRU Women’s Soccer Team following their semifinal win Dec. 2. Photo by Dan Hunter.

Anika Washburn, center, celebrates with Carolyn Koutures as Jamie Goldfarb rushes to join them during a Nov. 12 game on DiSanto Field. Photo by Tim Phillis.