Women’s soccer prepares for first league match


File Photo

Bianca Romay defends the Western goal.

Bradley Piros, Courier Staff

MACOMB, Ill.- Although Western Illinois University’s women’s soccer program isn’t having the season they had planned, they are fully confident heading into their first league game of the season. They have been learning from their early season games and plan on taking those things into the Summit League action. Western currently sits at 1-8 on the season, and are 7th in The Summit League.

The Leathernecks schedule is set up like this strategically, preparing them for league play. That’s why schools like Drake University, University of Kentucky and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee are on the schedule as our first couple of games. Director of soccer Eric Johnson sets up these difficult matches so his team can be better prepared for the Summit League. He does this with both the men’s and women’s team on purpose. The women’s schedule specifically gets harder and harder as they go along, ending their season with six straight league games. They finish their regular season with University of Denver and University of Omaha, who are currently first and third in the Summit League respectively.

That’s what the Leathernecks are looking forward to, but right now their main focus is on this weekend. The Leathernecks play the Oral Roberts University Golden Eagles tonight and the Illinois State University Redbirds on Sunday. The match against the Redbirds is Western’s last non-league game of the season. The Leathernecks are looking to get this win over the Golden Eagles and take an early advantage in league play. Western has had a few weekends just like this, playing a Friday night game and then a Sunday afternoon match, and they haven’t won both games yet. Western’s only win came over Chicago State University in their astonishing 9-1 victory on Sept. 17. They have another chance to head into a weekend and come out on top with two wins.

The Golden Eagles are currently 3-7-1 heading into tonight’s clash, and fourth in The Summit League. Western plans on gaining a win here, as it is an away match for them. Their only win of the season was also a home game, so it would be great to start gaining some momentum while away. Western plans on keeping up with their attack, especially sophomore midfielder Bianca Romay. She is currently third in leading goal scorers with three, and fifth in overall points with seven in the Summit League. Freshman forward Natalie Nagle is also on the leaderboards sitting in fourth overall in assists with two on the season.

After Oral Roberts, Western comes back to Macomb for a four-game home stand, kicking it off on Sunday against Illinois State. The Redbirds are currently 3-5-2 for the season. The Redbirds haven’t had the season they had hoped for either, and are 1-4-2 while away. They have however held up with some tough competition, beating the UWM Panthers 2-1 in an exhibition game, and tying 0-0 with 19th Marquette University. They know how to play against good teams, and look to get a win in Macomb.

They know it will be tough, but Western has enough confidence to get both wins this weekend and are looking forward to league play and their upcoming home matches. The kickoff for tonight’s game is 7 p.m. in Tulsa, Okla.

Twitter: @bradjp08