Soccer looks to stun Cougars


File Photo

Madeline Edwards takes the ball down the field.

Bradley Piros, Assistant Sports Editor

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Western Illinois women’s soccer team has been back in action over the past two weeks, winning their first two matches.

Those games were both exhibition on the road against the University of Illinois-Chicago and the University of Wisconsin- Green Bay, meaning they didn’t boost the teams record. On the up and up, they are scoring goals, winning 1-0 and 3-2 respectively.

They did however lose their first regular season game on the road at Missouri State to a score of 1-0. That game was unable to be finished though as lightning stopped the game in the 82nd minute.

The Leathernecks’ next game will wrap up their four-game road trip against upstate rival, University of Northern Illinois Huskies. Last season Western was topped 1-0 in their home opener to NIU, so they will be seeking their revenge this year.

After Western’s visit with the Huskies, they will open up a four-game home stand against the University of Missouri Kansas City. Following that up they will play a new foe, in the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs.

The Purple and Gold will finish their home stay against the University of Milwaukee Panthers and the Ball State University Cardinals; both being teams they have played before. Last year Western dropped both these games 3-0.

Next, the Leathernecks go back on the road for three games, starting with Chicago State University.

This was one of Western’s only two wins last season, and it came in spectacular fashion as they won 9-1, breaking their previous goals scored in one match record by one goal. It was one of the biggest wins in the school’s history and they will hope to try and do it all again.

Western will continue that road trip to visit the Drake University Bulldogs and the Illinois State University Redbirds. They lost to both of these teams with scores of 1-0 and 2-1 respectively.

From there on out, Western will be up against their eight Summit League competitors. They’ll kick things off against the North Dakota State University Bison and the South Dakota State University Jackrabbits at home before visiting the Summit League’s newest member, the University of North Dakota Hawks.

Last year UND finished with an 8-8-4 record, which by no means is a bad thing. Three games into this season and they have already scored 10 goals, winning 5-1, 2-1 and 3-0. The 2-1 victory was over their rivals, the University of South Dakota Coyotes in a pre-season exhibition match. Western lost 4-0 last season on the road to the Hawks.

Western then comes back home for one game against the UND Coyotes, before taking a break from Summit League competition to play the University of Northern Iowa Panthers on the road. They’ll play one more on the road, against the Oral Roberts University Golden Eagles.

Their final home game will be against defending Summit League champions, University of Denver at home. This game will of course be senior night for the Leathernecks, as they would love to upset the Pioneers on home field, after a rather embarrassing 5-0 loss on the road against them.

Western will finish their season off on the road as they take on the University of Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons, the only other team they beat last season. Their final game of the season will be against the University of Omaha- Nebraska.

Things didn’t end well for the Leathernecks last season, but they are looking to have a bounce back season. They showed their skills in their pre-season matchups and will need to carry those things into the regular season.

Their next game will be against the University of Northern Illinois this Thursday. Their first home match however, won’t be until Sunday Aug. 26 against UMKC at 1 p.m.

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