Women’s soccer beat by Bulldogs


File Photo

Ines Palmiero-Herrera takes a goal kick for the Leathernecks at John Makenzie Alumni Field in Macomb.

Michael Harms , Courier Staff

DES MOINES, Iowa.— The Western Illinois University women’s soccer team fell to the Drake University Bulldogs 2-1 this past Sunday. This reduces the Leathernecks to a 2-5-1 record as Drake increases to 3-6-0.

The first half went back and forth. Drake attacked first, getting a shot on goal in the fifth minute but couldn’t find the back of the net. The Leathernecks bounced back as sophomore midfielder Natalie Nagle got a shot on goal. The two teams played quite defensively allowing only a total of eight shots. Only three of those shots came from the Leathernecks.

Two of those shots were from Nagle who had an electric presence early in the game. The offense seemed to run through her feet as she took her chances without hesitation and did her best to feed the forwards for opportunities.

Junior goalkeeper Ines Palmiero-Herrera looked unstoppable in the first half. She did not let any balls in the back of the net, and was prepared for any shot the Bulldogs had. The second half was a very different story for the Purple and Gold. This is when the heat started to affect the players. With the temperature in the high 80s, the energy levels dropped.

“Not enough energy to match what Drake brought to the game today,” director of soccer Eric Johnson said. “We were still in the game however but were not sharp enough to win and gave the ball away too easily.”

The low levels of energy showed immediately in the 46 minute of the match when senior forward Tawny Carrol of Drake volleyed a cross into the back of the net, putting the Bulldogs in the lead. Her first goal of the season came from a fantastic cross from senior defender Linda Florito.

Following four straight shots from the Bulldogs in the 75th and 76th minute, Herrera started a counter attack for Western.

Junior forward Emily Bollman streaked past the backline and fired a shot challenging sophomore goalkeeper Kelsie Stone who made a diving save, but could not keep it in her midst as freshman forward Amy Andrews put the equalizer in the back of the net.

“Conversely, we left ourselves exposed by under-hitting a ball into the box and getting countered. We were pleased with our team’s response to their equalizer,” Drake’s head coach Lindsey Horner said. The Bulldogs responded by not giving up.

They kept firing shots on goal challenging Herrera who kept out as much as she could. Unfortunately, after 16 saves in the second half alone, she let one in. It was only a matter of time until the Bulldogs capitalized, and it was sophomore forward Hannah Borman who tallied her first goal on the season.

After 90 minutes of a tough battle, the Leathernecks dropped another one, but will look to bounce back this Wednesday on the road against Illinois State University. The Redbirds are currently 4-4-2 on the season and defeated the Leathernecks 1-0 in the 2017 season. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. in Normal, Ill.