Yeowomen Split Pair During Weekend Trip to Illinois

Michaela Puterbaugh

Despite dropping its first three games, including one on Saturday 4–2 against the North Central College Cardinals, the women’s soccer team was able to bring home a 0–1 win against the Benedictine University Eagles on Sunday in Naperville, IL.

The Yeowomen opened the weekend with a slow performance as they quickly fell behind 2–0 in the match’s first 13 minutes. Assisted by sophomore midfielder Megan Herrmann, junior midfielder Ellie Huizenga notched a goal in the 21st minute to cut the Cardinals’ lead in half, but the Cardinals managed to tack on one more just before the end of the first half, pushing the score to 3–1.

That deficit would end up being too much to overcome, and despite another goal late in the game, the Yeowomen’s defensive performance gave them little chance.

“We were not as organized as we needed to be, defensively. Offensively, I thought we did a lot of good things,” Head Coach Dan Palmer said.

Eleven minutes into the second half, North Central added to its lead by scoring a fourth and final goal, more than enough to secure victory despite a late tally by sophomore forward Taylor French in the 86th minute.

“The second half we played much better than the first. While the score doesn’t necessarily show it, we are already playing much better than last year and will only continue to improve as we head to conference play in two weeks,” senior goalkeeper Kate Frost said.

Despite having little time to reflect on Saturday’s game, the Yeowomen went into Sunday’s game against Benedictine refreshed and ready to win.

“We made the adjustments. On Saturday we talked about a little after the game that we were not as disciplined as we needed to be in our responsibilities, and Sunday we gained that discipline back and ended with a great result,” said Palmer.

In the 36th minute of the game, first-year midfielder Gwennie Gardiner scored her first collegiate goal off an assist from senior defender Samantha Mater, giving the Yeowomen all the scoring they would need that day.

“Honestly, I felt a huge degree of relief and excitement [about the goal],” Gardiner said. “It got me really anxious in the best possible way.”

The goal, combined with Frost’s three saves, earned the Yeowomen a 0–1 victory and marked their first win of the season.

“We created ample opportunities to score, and even if the play did not directly result in a scoring opportunity, we made the defense work to clear the ball,” said Frost. “I think we also had better chemistry in this second game, and we played more relaxed and with more confidence, especially in the defense.”

After a two week layoff, the trip to Naperville moved the team’s record to 1–3.

Prior to playing its two games, the team was able to explore the city of Chicago last Friday when it visited Cloud Gate at Millennium Park and the John Hancock Center.

“It was pretty funny to watch [Coach Palmer] jumping in the elevator up to and down from the 100th floor of the Hancock building despite the explicit warnings that jumping wasn’t allowed from the elevator attendant,” Gardiner said.

The Yeowomen hosted the College of Mount St. Joseph Lions on Thursday for their first home game of the year, winning their second consecutive game by a score of 5–1. Five different Yeowomen scored in the game.

“They are a team that is in a similar state of transition as we are,” said Coach Palmer.

The Yeowomen will play in a flurry of games in the upcoming weeks with five games in 10 days, starting with an away game against the Marietta College Pioneers on Saturday, Sept. 20 in Marietta, Ohio.