Women’s soccr fall in double OT to Drake University


File Photo

Bianca Romany looks for a pass against Missouri State.

Bradley Piros, Courier Staff

MACOMB Ill. –  Western Illinois University men’s soccer fell to 1-8 for the season, while Drake University Bulldogs rose up to 7-3-1. Drake won the game in double overtime 2-1, but Western put up one of the strongest fights seen this season.

They may have lost the game, but signs of improvement were beginning to show all over the field for the Leathernecks, and that is exactly what coach Eric Johnson would have wanted. “I think that we were absorbing some of that pressure and limiting some of the space that Drake was able to play in by doing that,” Johnson said. “It was kind of a way for us to play and counterattack using (sophomore midfielder) Bianca Romany and (freshman forward) Lauryn Peters and (their) speed.”

It was a perfect pass and good timing on the run by Bianca, who was able to stay calm and composed to finish it over the keeper’s hands.

It was a big goal for us to score but unfortunately, we didn’t get it done. We are taking those small steps towards winning games and scoring goals is a part of that. We have to now do that in league play, and Drake is like several of our league teams.”

This game was a well fought one by both teams, and it ended up being a nail biter toward the end of the game and heading into overtime because no one really knew which way it was going to go. In the beginning of the game it was all in favor of the Bulldogs. They were able gain most of the ball possession and take three shots before Western even got their first chance. Western’s first chance came from Peters’ corner kick in the 11th minute, which was ultimately wasted.

Drake regained momentum taking some more shots and keep on the pressure that led to their first goal. In the 21st minute senior midfielder Rebecca Rodgers got a pass from senior defender Ali Smith, who took it with a great first touch, turning and putting the ball in the back of the net past senior goalkeeper Jennifer Currie. They took this lead into the mandatory water break.

After the water break, on the unusual 90-degree September afternoon, Drake kept up the pressure but you could see Western beginning to figure them out. Drake dominated the rest of the first half, but the Leathernecks kept them from scoring any more goals, for now.

The second half started out in Western’s favor, with a shot and Drake’s freshman defender Sam Nosler picked up a yellow card for unsportsmanlike conduct with goalkeeper Currie as the two had a nasty collision. The Leathernecks took this little bit of momentum and scored the equalizer. The goal came from sophomore midfielder Romay as she slotted it past freshman goalie Kelsie Stone to tie the game 1-1. The goal came off of a beautiful through ball from junior forward Madeline Edwards in the 51st minute.

For the rest of the game, neither team could properly gain any sort of momentum as the ball went up and down the field quite often. After 90 minutes, the score was still tied at 1-1, which meant it was going into overtime. Overtime is split up into two 10 minute halves, and it is golden goal, meaning next goal wins. After this, if it was still tied it would have ended a draw, but that was not the case.

The first period flew by as both teams came out fast and furious, as opportunities went just wide of the post for both sides. The second period was essentially all Western, until one good counter attack from Drake. The ball cleared out from their defense third and sent out wide for a cross and then tapped in by the open Rebecca Rodgers for her second of the day, winning the game for her side.

This is not the result Western had wanted heading into league play, but a lot of things were learned and they now know what they need to improve upon for next time. The Leathernecks’ next game is this Friday against Oral Roberts University, for their first league game of the season. They look to start league play off right, as the game begins at 7 p.m. in Tulsa Okla.

Twitter: @Bradjp08