Women’s soccer grabs second win



Ines Palmiero Herrera kicks the ball out of the night after a shutout against Fort Wayne.

Bradley Piros, Courier Staff

MACOMB Ill.- Western Illinois University’s women’s soccer program was able to get a win over the Fort Wayne Mastodons in a close 1-0 game. This was only their second win of the season, boosting their record to 2-10 as they outshot the Mastodons 21-15, and 10-5
on goal.

Both teams came into this game 1-10 and both were looking for some much-needed momentum heading into the final stretch of the season, however, the Leathernecks came out on top.

“I think winning at home is a confidence builder,” said Director of Soccer Eric Johnson. “We have two coming up, and we know they will be difficult, but we will go in with an idea of knowing how to play them. The confidence is there and it’s just a matter of coming out to execute and working as hard as we did today.”

It might have looked to be a slow game at first, but both teams seemed to just be getting comfortable with each other in the early moments, exchanging fouls. Western took two shots early on, both being saved by freshman goalkeeper Emma Gaggioli, while the Mastodons also took two shots, one going wide and the other going over the crossbar.

Both teams continued on like this the rest of the first half, as they went on to exchange eleven shots. Both teams frequently made substitutions as well, however the dead lock stayed heading into half time.

The start to the second half was greatly in favor of the Mastodons, as they went on to take two shots and gain a corner kick with some good attacking play. It seemed that they were surely going to score. Sophomore goalie Ines Palmiero kept them in the game though as she made some incredible saves, leading her on to win the defensive player of the week for The Summit League, making a total of 5 key saves on the day.

The power would soon shift over to the Leathernecks as a great counter attack opportunity was cut short inside the 18-yard box, and a penalty kick was awarded to Western. With this chance, the Leathernecks were determined to take the lead. Sophomore midfielder Bianca Romay stepped up to take the kick, as she leads the team currently with 5 goals, however her kick was no good. She hit it well, but it slammed against the left post and fell right back at her feet as she went on to shoot the ball high over the net off of her own rebound.

It was a disappointing series of events for the Leathernecks, but they hadn’t given up quite yet. Western went on to dominate the next ten minutes as they took several shots, all of them being saved by Gaggioli. This momentum however, led the Leathernecks on to grab the first goal of the game. A great through ball from freshmen midfielder Lauryn Peters would go straight to the feet of Sophomore forward Emily Bollman as she slotted it home into the bottom left corner of the goal. Western had finally taken the lead at 1-0.

A counter attack sequence which led to a questionable foul, would be the only real opportunity the Mastodons produced, as a ball was sent across the six-yard box was knocked over the line, but a foul was called just before, calling off the goal. This led to the first yellow card of the game, and it was awarded to Fort Wayne’s assistant coach for bad mouthing the referee. This would be the first of four yellow cards for the Mastodons.

The Leathernecks final chance of the game would come from Romay yet again as she dribbled through nearly half of the opposing team and take another well hit shot, however this one would also slam off the post, and go out of play. The game would end at 1-0 as the Leathernecks picked up their second win of the season, and gained a much-needed victory over a fellow Summit /’League contender.

Western plays North Dakota State University Friday at 3 p.m. and South Dakota State University Sunday at 1 p.m. The Leathernecks look to sweep the weekend and finish out their four-game home stand strong.

Twitter: @bradjp08