Women’s Soccer Begins Conference Play on High Note


Courtesy of OC Athletics

First-year Hannah Cook controls the ball in a game this season. Cook was named NCAC Player of the Week for her efforts last week and currently leads the team with four goals.

Sloane Garelick

The Oberlin women’s soccer team has been on a roll lately, winning its past five games, including a 1–0 victory over the Muskingum University Fighting Muskies on Wednesday.

Last Thursday, the Yeowomen defeated the Lions of Mount St. Joseph 5–1 during their home opener. The team jumped out to an early lead on first-half goals from sophomore and Review Sports Editor Tyler Sloan, sophomore Megan Herrmann and first-year Hannah Cook.

Junior Sarah Willete added a fourth goal for the Yeowomen early in the second half, and though the Lions finally answered back with a goal in the 67th minute, the Yeowomen secured the victory with another goal from Cook late in the game.

Coming off a hard-fought 1–0 victory over the Benedictine University Eagles, the Yeowomen were thrilled to walk away with an easy win against the Lions.

“We really came together and executed our game plan, which was to possess,” said Willete. “Our offensive changes were great, and defensively I thought we were really highly organized.”

Head Coach Dan Palmer was equally impressed with the team’s efforts against the Lions.

“Mount St. Joseph was a tough team to break down, but we did the things that we needed to do to make sure we came out on top,” he said.

On Saturday, the team continued its hot streak, winning its third consecutive game by defeating the Marietta College Pioneers 2–1 on an overtime goal by Cook.

The first goal for the Yeowomen came off the foot of Cook’s fellow first-year Gwennie Gardiner and gave the team an early 1–0 lead.

“Tyler [Sloan] passed me the ball and I took a touch in the 18,” said Cook. “I cut back to the right, and I just finished the goal. After it went in, I honestly couldn’t see if the ref was going to call the game over, since there was just a mob of celebration.”

After her two game-changing performances against Mount St. Joseph and Marietta, Cook was named North Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Week.

Though the Pioneers have yet to win a game this season, the game was hard-fought from start to finish, and Palmer was proud of the way the team was able to stay focused.

“The [Marietta] game was a difficult game from the standpoint that the team we played was pretty athletic and very physical,” he said. “Going into the overtime, though, I think that they were focused and knew that we had outplayed them; we just hadn’t outscored them to that point in time, so as long as we stayed disciplined it’d be expected that we’d come out with a good result.”

Playing their third game in five days on Monday, the Yeowomen secured another home victory, defeating the Defiance College Yellow Jackets 1–0. Again the Yeowomen got a key contribution from a new player; first-year Lauren Koval scored the only goal of the game in the 30th minute.

The Yeowomen’s strong defensive play also contributed to the team’s victory.

“We possessed well, and our defensive line was absolutely solid,” said Willete. “This is a team that had beaten us the previous two years, so it felt really good to finally stick a win out against them.”

The Yeowomen finally ended the week with the 1–0 win over the Fighting Muskies on Wednesday night. The lone goal came from Hannah Cook, capping off her recent stretch of strong play.

The recent wins have left the team quite optimistic for the rest of the season, but the Yeowomen know that they need to continue to improve in order to keep winning.

“We have a really young team, so we have to be confident in our ability to play because we have all the skills and we have all the talent,” said Willete. “Sometimes I feel like we may or may not doubt ourselves, but we have the potential to be an amazing program this season.”

According to Palmer, the team knows that maintaining patience and a consistent work ethic are essential to ensuring future success this season.

“It comes down to how consistently we can execute the things that we do well,” said Palmer. “If we stay disciplined and we execute, then our chances are pretty good in all these games.”

This Saturday, the Yeowomen will take on the Wittenberg University Tigers at 4 p.m. on Fred Shults Field in their first conference game of the season.