Yeowomen Suffer First Loss of Season to Tigers


Sarah Marshall, OC '87

First-year midfielder Sydnie Savarese fights for the ball in the Yeowomen’s face-off against the Ohio Wesleyan University Battling Bishops Sept. 23. The Yeowomen will take the field tomorrow night against the Hiram College Terriers in Hiram, Ohio.

The Yeowomen endured a crushing 3–0 loss in a match against the Wittenberg University Tigers last Saturday, ending an 11-win streak that stretched back to last season. While the team entered North Coast Athletic Conference play at 6–0–1, they are now 7–1–2 on the season.

Head Coach Dan Palmer, who is in his fifth season with the Yeowomen, was not discouraged by the final score, and dispelled any notions that the team might have been playing poorly.

“We played well last game,” Palmer wrote in an email to the Review. “It was a very close game despite the score. Wittenberg was [just] able to capitalize on their chances when we could not.”

In the first half, the Wittenberg Tigers found little to no success when facing off against the Yeowomen defensive line. On the other side of the field, senior striker Gwennie Gardiner rifled off two shots on goal, but to no avail. While the Tigers managed three shot attempts — one attempt more than the Yeowomen — they fell short with just a single shot on target.

“Most scores don’t actually show what the game is about,” junior defender Maddi Kimball said. “The first half was pretty even, and the second half had a few breakdowns on defensive formation and focus.”

The Yeowomen saw a lot more action in the second half, both on their opponents’ end and on their own. The two teams battled against an empty scoreboard until the 61st minute, when the Tigers worked the ball past the goal line, taking the lead and keeping it. Kimball retaliated with a long-range shot from outside the box and managed to place the ball past Wittenberg’s keeper, but was ultimately met with the metal of the crossbar. Seconds later at the 74th minute, the Tigers managed to snag another near-deflected goal on the other end of the field.

Gardiner affirmed that falling behind in the match did not lessen the Yeowomen’s attack. “I think the team held pretty strong until the half,” Gardiner said. “It was very even. We definitely had some faults and made some mistakes, but overall we really held our own for the great majority of the game.”

Oberlin did not go down quietly, taking two more scoring chances during the final 15 minutes of the match. At the 84th minute, Wittenberg clinched the win with their third and final goal off of a penalty kick.

Despite being winless after two NCAC games, Gardiner still believes the Yeowomen should be confident going forward.

“I think the loss was certainly disappointing,” Gardiner said. “But we all have our minds in the right place and this conference table is nowhere near set. There have been a few major losses, so to speak. Denison and DePauw have already lost, and these are usually teams that are typically one and two in the conference, or at least top four, no doubt.”

While their standings in the NCAC are 0–1–1, the Yeowomen have a chance to take their first conference win against the Hiram College Terriers tomorrow in Hiram, Ohio.

“It was really important to us that we came out hard and show that Oberlin is a force to be reckoned with, because in the past years, the program has not been something that people feel threatened by,” Kimball said. “It’s important that throughout the conference we seem like fierce opposition. I think that we did go out and prove — in some capacity — that we are.”