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Wonder-ful shot ignites Women's Soccer

Wonder-ful shot ignites Women's Soccer

PHOTOS: Top, Ellie Eskierka celebrates her second goal of the season; below, Alex Balfour watches her long blast on its journey to the net for a score.


On this Halloween, Tommie freshman defender Alex Balfour momentarily donned the costume of Wonder Woman and jump-started the St. Thomas Women's Soccer offense.

Balfour picked a good time to take -- and make -- her first collegiate shot: the second half of a postseason game that was tied 0-0.

During a Tommie counter attack in the game's 61st minute, Balfour drilled a shot from beyond the box and it spun past a leaping goalkeeper into the top right corner of the nets for the game's first goal.

St. Thomas added Ellie Eskierka's insurance goal in the 84th minute to take a 2-0 victory over fourth-seed St. Catherine in the semifinal round of the conference playoffs at South Field.

The Tommies (17-2) tied a school record for season wins and moved to 9-0 at home this season. They're back in the MIAC playoff championship game for the third time in four years and will face third-seed Augsburg (14-6) Saturday at 1 p.m.

An automatic berth into the NCAA playoffs goes to Saturday's winner, but the Toms have probably locked up a spot in the national field regardless.

The Toms had an 11-4 advantage in shots on goal and a 4-0 edge in corners. Sarah Pasternak had four saves as the team took its 12th shutout victory of the season.

Mallory DeBoom assisted on Eskierka's goal and moved into a tie for second on the UST career scoring charts at 109 points.