The women’s soccer team arrived ready for a tough matchup at Fred Shults Field this past Saturday, Sept. 17. SUNY Brockport entered the contest with an impressive 3–1–1 record, providing an important test for the young and talented Yeowomen squad.
On a rare day of peaceful weather in Northeast Ohio, the contest was anything but. The teams combined for a whopping 11 fouls during the game, attesting to the physical nature of what was a very evenly matched contest.
The Yeowomen managed to keep pace with Brockport initially, matching shot-for-shot, until a well-placed strike by the Golden Eagles less than 10 minutes into the game provided an early cushion. The Eagles then pressed Oberlin with a strong defensive effort, holding the Yeowomen to only four shots during the remainder of the first half.
The Yeowomen did not give any ground defensively, however, with first-year goalkeeper Kate Frost saving five shots during the first 45 minutes to keep the team in the game. Efficient and reliable clearing from junior midfielder Hannah Combe and senior defender Devon Watts-Fitzgerald contributed to the strong play of the back line that would be key in the second half, as Oberlin’s offense tried to pick up the pace.
The Yeowomen came out of the gates with passion following halftime adjustments. The pressure was increased on the Golden Eagles, reflected by the less-than-calm demeanor of their coaches, who began shouting out to their players as their team was put on the defensive. Brockport seemed on the verge of succumbing to the Oberlin attack, only able to muster shots that were either at a poor angle or a great distance from the goal, due to the Yeowomen defensive effort. Frost built on her strong first half, adding an impressive nine saves in the second and ending with 13 total.
Unfortunately, the Yeowomen simply could not create enough offense to put in the tying goal. Brockport managed to hold on for a hotly contested 0–1 win, as Oberlin finished with only seven shots to SUNY’s 21.
The toughness of the defense will be a building point going forward, however, and the Yeowomen hope their young offensive attack can find its stride. Oberlin faces a competitive upcoming slate of road games. They will travel to play Franklin College this weekend, followed by a night game against John Carroll University on Sept. 27 at Fred Shults Field.