Soccer falls in season opener


File Photo

Lauryn Peters strikes the ball at John Mackenzie Almuni Field.

Bradley Piros, Assistant Sports Editor

MACOMB, Ill. — The Western Illinois women’s soccer team are currently 0-1 on the season.

They showed promising signs winning their first two exhibition matches against the University of Illinois-Chicago and the University of Wisconsin Green Bay; 1-0 and 3-2 respectively. However, they lost their first regular season match to the Bears of Missouri State University to a score of 1-0.

Last season, Western topped the Bears 2-1 at home on John Mackenzie field, so they are a disappointed that they didn’t get the win, but they should still walk away with their heads held high as they held tough with the reigning Missouri Valley Conference Champions.

After the match, director of all soccer operations, Dr. Eric Johnson had this to say.

“We had a decent first half and created two really good chances but did not finish them off,” Johnson said.

“On their goal we let a winger cut inside and paid the price. Missouri State is a solid athletic team, so it was a good test for us. We can build on our effort in this game and we are looking forward to the next one at Northern Illinois.”

That game wasn’t played to completion, as it was called off in the 82nd minute due to lightning and expected storms in the area, giving the Bears the 1-0 go-ahead win.

The Leathernecks will continue their season tomorrow night when they wrap up their four-game road trip as they visit the Northern Illinois University Huskies. The game will be under the lights with a 7 p.m. start time in Dekalb, Illinois.

Last season the Huskies took the victory over the Leathernecks in devastating fashion. NIU came right out of the gate and caught Western flat-footed to put one in the back of the net early in minute two of the game. That would seem to be the decisive goal in the 1-0 loss, as NIU out-shot western 6-3.

The Huskies come into this game also with a 0-1 record, but unlike Western, NIU hasn’t gained a win in their opening two games. NIU opened up their exhibition season against the Creighton University Blue Jays but fell short 3-1 in the end. They went on to play the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on the road and came up empty handed losing 3-0.

Bad news for the Huskies, but Western will try and make that three defeats in a row for them as they seek their first regular season victory.

Lauryn Peters and Natalie Nagle are returning sophomores looking to make things happen this year. Both playing out on the wing or in center midfield these two really have chemistry with not only each other but they were perfect fits for the team all around.

Also returning is senior forward Madeline Edwards. She plays a huge role alongside Peters, Nagle and new edition freshman defender Zoe Clarke. Being brought in from Birmingham, England, she really does round out the team to make a solid starting-eleven. Edwards had three shots against MSU, two on goal.

Look for these women to make a difference this season as your Leathernecks take on NIU tomorrow night. They will make their home debut this Sunday afternoon against the University of Missouri-Kansas City at 1 p.m.

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