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Loras’ Brynn Jacobi strikes the ball during the Duhawks’ 3-0 victory over Calvin in an NCAA Division III tournament second-round match on Nov. 13 at the Rock Bowl. Loras will host Centre in the third round on Saturday.

Victories have been piling up for the Loras women’s soccer team this fall.

Twenty overall. Seventeen consecutive.

Another win will put the Duhawks in uncharted territory.

NCAA Division III No. 9-ranked Loras will play No. 13 Centre College at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in the Rock Bowl in the third round of the Division III tournament.

The Duhawks (20-0-1) are in the Sweet 16 for the fourth time in program history and the first time since 2012. They have never reached the Elite Eight.

The Duhawks have conceded just four goals at home this season and are 11-0 at the Rock Bowl this year.

“The earlier we score, the more pressure we can take off our back line and just play our game,” Payton McDonnell said after Loras’ 3-0 victory over Calvin in the second round last weekend.

McDonnell leads the nation — men and women, and all three divisions — in assists (21). Abby Eriksen leads Loras with 11 goals and 25 points. Brynn Jacobi has nine goals and six assists, and Ryleigh O’Brien has nine goals, four assists and 22 points.

O’Brien scored twice in Loras’ 3-0 victory over Calvin in the second round last weekend, including the opening goal on a set piece. The Duhawks scored in a similar fashion in their 1-0 victory over Fontbonne in the first round.

“Set plays and corners have always been our thing,” O’Brien said. “We know we need to capitalize on those wins. Our first intent is always to just follow that ball and put it in the back of the net. If someone hits it, find the second ball. First and second balls are always a huge thing.”

The Duhawks have really excelled on defense. Loras has outscored its opponents, 64-8, with 14 shutouts. Illinois Wesleyan is the only team to score as many as two goals against Loras this season.

Goalkeeper Kyndal Kells boasts a save percentage of .920.

“We’ve just got to keep this momentum to help us keep rolling,” defender Olivia Lansing said.

Centre (17-1-2) has won two straight and hasn’t lost since Sept. 11 — coincidentally the same day Loras recorded its only non-victory of the year.

Megan Sidaway leads the Colonels with 11 goals. Taylor Gebhart has seven. Goalkeeper Jonelle Barron has allowed six goals on 42 shots.

Centre has only allowed seven goals this season.

The winner will play either No. 6 Washington (Mo.) (15-1-2) or UW-La Crosse (16-4-2) in Sunday’s 1 p.m. match in the Rock Bowl. The Eagles and Bears play their third-round match at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Loras and Washington battled to a scoreless draw on Sept. 11. The Duhawks’ 17-match winning streak began the following day.

“We’re playing the ball to the right spots and we’re following just as we’ve been told,” O’Brien said. “We’re playing our game and when we play our game we’re on and we can put (the ball) in the back of the net.”

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