Women’s soccer falls to 1-1-1 after shutout tie and road loss

Ines Palmiero Herrera keeps her eyes on the ball


Ines Palmiero Herrera keeps her eyes on the ball

Bradley Piros , Sports Editor

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Western Illinois women’s soccer team played two games over the three-day weekend, picking up a 0-0 draw to Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis and a 3-1 defeat to the University of Kansas City – Missouri. With those two matches in the books, Western’s record on the season comes down to a solid 1-1-1.

The first game against IUPUI showed a great effort of “bend but don’t break” style of defense by the Leathernecks. In retrospect, Western should have lost that game. According to the score sheet, IUPUI had their way with Western.

IUPUI outshot the Leathernecks 25-12 (6-0 SOG) and had a whopping 11 corner kicks to Western’s none. Those stats are after 110 minutes because the game went into double-overtime. Western was still outshot 4-3 in overtime but both teams ended up walking away with a shutout after nearly two hours of play.

Assistant coach Josee Primeau was pleased with his team’s ability to end the game scoreless.

“Our girls fought really hard tonight through all 110 minutes for this result,” Primeau said in a post-game interview with WIU Athletics Communications. “IUPUI was athletic and they had many chances in our half, which forced us to defend late in the game. Defensively we came out with some big time saves and a strong back line that refused to get beat. I’m very happy with our effort tonight.”

Senior goalkeeper Ines Palmiero Herrera made six saves on the day, inching closer to tying Carey Cowhey (2002-05) for fifth all-time in saves at Western with 191. It was number zero who came up big yet again, giving her side an opportunity to win as always.

Sophomore defender Zoe Clarke once again led the team in shots with four. Four of her teammates each recorded two shots: Emily Bollman, Jenna Lundgren, Amy Andrews and Lynette Hawkins. While none of them found the score sheet against IUPUI, that changed on Sunday.

After getting shutout 4-0 the year prior by the UMKC Kangaroos, it didn’t seem like Western stood a chance to win this season, but that was not the case in the early goings.

Western got out on the front foot with shots from Lundgren and Lauryn Peters in the first 15 minutes. The shots led to some offense momentum for the Leathernecks, and UMKC had no choice but to foul to slow Western down. That led to a free kick in the 18th minute.

The ball came in and managed to fall at the feet of sophomore midfielder Carolina Gomes who without hesitation slotted the ball into the bottom right corner of the goal to make it 1-0.

After suffering 11 first half shots, Western was once again dominant in defense to keep the lead into halftime.

On the other side of the locker room

break though, the Leathernecks began

to fall apart. Eight minutes into the second half, Western gave up a penalty kick, and UMKC was right back in it, 1-1.

Twelve minutes later, the Roos took the lead and that’s how the game would stand for 20 minutes; until UMKC were awarded a second penalty kick. This one, just like the first one, found the back of the net, and the game finished 3-1, handing Western their first loss.

Three games into the season, and one thing is for certain: Western can’t let their defense do all the work. Not only do they have to deal with back-to-back games of facing 20-plus shots, the defense is also a big contributor of the little offense the team has had so far. It’s a bit of a problem when a defender is your leading shooter.

Take nothing away from the offense, the talent is there. You have Peters and junior Natalie Nagle in the midfield connecting every play and piecing the game together, while there is plenty of depth for the forward position as well.

In that category there is senior Emily Bollman who is a threat from anywhere on the field, to the young freshman Hawkins sisters, Lynette and Elainya. Freshman Megan O’Neil has still yet to make her debut while Gomes scores in first appearance as a Leatherneck. Rounding out the position is Amy Andrews. The sophomore only scored one goal a year ago but is bound to have a break out year, and why can’t this be that year?

With the midfield and defense often times jumping into the offensive third, it’s only a matter of time until the Leathernecks start putting them in the back of the net.

After a tough two-game road trip, the Purple and Gold return home tomorrow afternoon to face the University of Illinois at Chicago and on Sunday to take on the Northern Illinois University Huskies.

The game against UIC kicks off at 4 p.m. at John Mackenzie Alumni Field in Macomb.