The Women’s soccer team will open up Conference play starting this week against Omaha. After a long non-conference schedule, the team has a 4-5-1 record, their best record before Summit League play since 2013. The Mavericks are currently 3-6-1 and this will also be their Summit League opener.
Western is coming off a short rest as they played Chicago state on Monday, winning 1-0. The game was supposed to be over Sunday afternoon, but a weather delay moved the rest of the game to Knox College to play on Monday night. The location didn’t change the Leathernecks’ outlook as they won easily.
Amy Andrews had the goal of the match, her fifth on the season. The sophomore from Birmingham, England has proved more than capable of scoring in bunches for the Purple and Gold. She also had a goal against Northern Illinois University and looks to make it three in a row against Omaha.
As Summit League play starts, eyes will drift to the Leathernecks’ upperclassmen leaders. The Summit League player to watch for the Leathernecks is Lauryn Peters. The junior forward has 920 minutes on the season, which is tied for the most with Bridget Schuler. She has expanded her game this year playing midfield, and even on the backline when needed. She has three shots on the year with no goals yet but is looking to change that.
The biggest surprise on the Leathernecks’ roster has been freshman Lynette Hawkins. The Colorado native just loves to be on the field, and coach Eric Johnson seems to like how she plays. She has played every minute of four games but has never been out for more than 16 minutes in a match. With so much playing time, she is bound to hit the scoring column soon.
The Mavericks will be an interesting opponent for Western. They were picked fourth in the preseason poll in The Summit League. As Western was picked last, they seem to be the underdog. The Mavs are coming off a two-game winning streak against Drake University, winning 1-0 in overtime and beating Grand Canyon University with a score of 1-0.
The winning goal came from Laurin Mertz. The freshman scored her first goal of her collegiate career for the Mavericks to put them ahead of GCU. In fact, not any of the Mavericks have more than one goal on the season. Sharing the output, six players all have one goal each.
The Mavericks have Andrea Daves to look out for. She led the team last year in assists with six and was second on the team in points with eight. The junior midfielder has played in just eight games this year, but is a workhorse for Omaha and will be utilized even more now that Summit League play is here.
The biggest surprise for Omaha has been transfer Amanda Rapaduski. After playing for Butler for one year, she decided to transfer to the Mavericks. After being held scoreless last year, she has tried everything to find the back of the net. She has 18 shots on the year, that leads the team by 11. She also leads the team in yellow cards with four and has the worst shot on goal percentage on the team. Her willingness to be aggressive and take chances may be dangerous, but it could be deadly too.
The two teams have both played Drake and Illinois State University. Western lost both games 1-0, but Omaha beat Drake and lost to Illinois state 3-2. The two teams look evenly matched, but only time will tell. Last year, the Purple and Gold lost 1-2. Let’s see how they get Summit League play started this year.