The William Jewell College (WJC) women’s soccer team completed their longest road trip of the season last weekend. After the 8-hour trip, the Cardinal’s first stop was on Friday, Sept. 12th in Indianapolis, IN to take on the University of Indianapolis.
UIndy was able to strike first, scoring in the 25th minute. Jewell answered with two goals: one in the 44th minute by Lauren Rein, senior, and assisted by Jade Gifford, junior. The second goal came in the 64th minute by Brittany Odell, senior, and assisted by Lea Maxwell, junior. The Cardinals held the lead until UIndy scored in the 89th minute to tie the game. No team was able to score in overtime, making the final score a 2-2 draw.
The team then traveled to Rensselaer, IN to face Saint Joseph’s College on Sunday, Sept. 14th. The game showed to be a defensive battle between the teams. Rein and Gabby Brooks, junior, both had two shots on goal, but could not net a shot. The game ended in a 0-0 draw after 110 minutes of play. The cardinal’s goalkeeper Alex Dressman, junior, recorded the shutout and six saves for the day.
The Cardinals have tied all three of their games so far this season, bringing their record to 0-0-3 (0-0-2). While they did not come home with a loss, the team was not completely satisfied with the results of the weekend.
“Overall, no one was content with the ties this weekend. Ideally, we would have loved to win. With that being said, we were grateful to not go home with a loss,” Leah Connery, senior, said.
The Cardinals were picked to finish 7th out of 16 teams in the Great Lakes Valley Conference preseason polls. They are currently in 10th place, but have four conference games in a row. They are hopeful to move up in the rankings. The team has high expectations for this season, as last season ended in a trip to the GLVC championship tournament.
“As far as season goals, our actions are always focused on making the conference tournament and moving on into post-season play. Having a history of this makes it something familiar-everyone on our team strives to make it there,” Connery said. “In the past, we have been reliant on a wild card bid in order to make it to the tournament so we know that the outcome of a single game has the power to affect our future.”
The road to the conference tournament will not be an easy one for the Cardinals, as they graduated nine players from last season’s roster. They also have a smaller 22-woman roster, which means every injury has a large impact. Seven first-years were brought in to compensate for the large number of graduated players.
“Just like with any team, changing a big portion of the roster makes things different. We are still getting used to playing together and feeling chemistry collectively. Mostly, we are still trying to figure out how to score. The freshman are obvious contributors so far this season and are great additions to our roster,” Connery said.
Both the Cardinal men and women play at home this weekend for the first time this season. Both play Lewis University tonight, the women at 5:00 pm and the men at 7:30 pm. On Sunday, the University of Wisconsin-Parkside comes to Greene Stadium to play the women at 12:00 pm and the men at 2:30 pm.