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College notes: NCAA Division III semifinals feature eight state players

12/02/2015, 9:00pm CST
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Eight Wisconsin natives are headed to Kansas City, Mo., where the NCAA Division III men's and women's soccer championships will be played Friday and Saturday at Sporting Kansas City's Swope Soccer Village.

Half of the state contingent plays for Loras (Iowa), which takes on top-ranked Calvin, Mich. (24-0-1) in a men's semifinal at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The 11th-ranked Duhawks (17-4-1) have won eight games in a row in advancing to the final four for the third time in the past four years. No. 6 Amherst, Mass. (17-1-1) faces eighth-ranked SUNY Oneonta (19-3-1) in the other semifinal, with the national championship game set for 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

Senior Jorge Simon (Kimberly) leads Loras with eight goals and has added three assists in 22 appearances (14 starts), and the holding midfielder also was named the Iowa Conference Defensive Player of the Year.

Junior forward Jonah Jacke (Green Bay Southwest), the son of former Green Bay Packers kicker Chris Jacke, has three assists in 20 games (three starts). Sophomore midfielder Chris Alfaro (Oak Creek) and senior defender Sammy Johnson (Gibraltar-Sevastopol) have made 13 and 12 appearances for the Duhawks, respectively.

Freshman defender James Jeninga (Milwaukee Lutheran), meanwhile, has played in 17 matches for Calvin. The Knights have won 24 consecutive games and have allowed just five goals on the season, posting 20 clean sheets.

On the women's side, Washington-St. Louis (Mo.) has a trio of Wisconsin players on its roster. Senior forward Liz Collins (Brookfield Academy) has a goal and four assists in 22 appearances (10 starts) for the Bears, while Megan Wolf (Racine Prairie School) has one goal and one assist in 18 games (four starts) and fellow sophomore defender Elise Brown (Madison West) has made three appearances.

Washington-St. Louis (20-2-0) also brings an eight-game winning streak into its national semifinal against top-ranked Messiah, Pa. (22-0-2) at 11 a.m. Friday, including a 1-0 victory over UW-Whitewater in the quarterfinals Nov. 22. No. 6 Williams, Mass. (19-1-2) plays ninth-ranked Centre, Ky. (21-1-1) in the other semifinal, with the national final at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

Live streams for Division III semifinals

  • Charles Salazar (Racine Prairie School) is on the roster for Rockhurst, Mo. (18-1-3), which advanced to the NCAA Division II men's national championships this weekend in Penascola, Fla., but the sophomore forward is yet to make his debut for the Hawks. Fifth-ranked Rockhurst faces No. 17 Cal Poly Pomona (16-2-3) in the semifinals Thursday, looking to earn a spot in Saturday's final against sixth-ranked Charleston, W.Va. (20-2-0) or No. 1 Pfeiffer, N.C. (23-0-0).
  • University of Wisconsin junior midfielder Rose Lavelle was named one of 15 women's semifinalists for the Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy, given annually to the country's top player. Lavelle, who earned her first call-up to the U.S. national team last week, had seven goals and three assists and was named the Big Ten Conference Midfielder of the Year as the Badgers (11-6-3) shared the Big Ten regular-season title this season. She is just the second UW player to be a semifinalist for the award – goalkeeper Heather Taggart was a Hermann Trophy finalist in 1991. Three finalists for the award will be announced Dec. 11, and the winner will be announced Jan. 8 at a banquet in St. Louis. Fan voting (link) will help determine the finalists, along with voting by NCAA Division I coaches.

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