Women’s Soccer Seeks to Improve

Nora Ryan

On Sept. 17, the Yeowomen lost in a closely contested game to Defiance College. Despite the 3–1 loss, Head Coach Kristen Hayden is encouraged by the improvement she has witnessed in the past two games.

“We had better possession of the ball throughout the games. We’ve created better scoring chances and capitalized on opportunities,” Hayden said.

Defiance started first, scoring with three minutes remaining in the first half. Oberlin countered early in the second half when sophomore midfielder Megan Michel tied the game with a well-placed shot in the upper right-hand corner of the net. Unfortunately, the Yeowomen were unable to maintain momentum, and Defiance scored the second and third goals from free kicks in the 66th and 79th minutes.

Coach Hayden expects improvement on the team’s 0–6–1 record. Positivity and drive have kept this team fighting, and Hayden foresees these qualities transferring to more wins.

“They want to win. They don’t give up. Each player has been a little more introspective and brought out individual positives that affect the whole. We all see and know the potential; now it’s just a matter of executing.”

Recently, the focus of the team’s attention has been taking more shots on goal. Defiance had ten shots on goal versus the Yeowomen’s four. This season, their opponents have put 80 shots on goal while Oberlin has placed 31.

Michel attributes this disparity to the unselfish nature of the team’s athletes.

“I think during the course of the game we get opportunities for shots that we choose not to take, in order to set a teammate up for a better chance at goal,” Michel said. “Sometimes players need to be a little bit greedy when they get near the 18 [meter mark] and take the shot even if they have only half a step on the defender.”

“We recently switched to four-four-two formation, and I think that has helped us become more cohesive as a team,” claimed Hayden. “Lately, we’ve been creating dangerous plays in the offensive third that give us more opportunities for shots on goal.”

Oberlin has10 scheduled games remaining in the season and are looking to improve further. The Yeowomen go up against Manchester at home this Saturday at 2 p.m.