The Missouri Western soccer team lost their first two conference games last week to University of Nebraska-Omaha 4-2 and Northwest Missouri State 3-1.
The UNO Mavericks came out firing shots at freshman goalie Joyce Endicott. Mavericks scored their first goal on a penalty kick and scored one more goal a few minutes later, leaving the Griffons down 2-0.
Despite being down early, Missouri Western came back and responded with a goal from freshman Abby Widrig. However, UNO scored one more goal before halftime came back out for the second half with a 3-1 lead.
Sophomore Heather Schmiemeir was able to add one more goal for the Griffons before the game was over, but it wasn’t enough. The Griffons lost the game 4-2.
Two days later, the Griffons faced the rival Bearcats in Maryville, Mo. Northwest took an early lead, scoring their first goal a mere six minutes into the game. Missouri Western then evened the score with a goal from junior Jessica Martin and the Griffons went into halftime tied.
However, the team couldn’t pull through and let the Bearcats score two unanswered goals late in the game to give them the win.
According to junior Mary Ohm, one of the main problems during both games was the team’s defense.
“We struggled defensively, which is kind of rare for us,” Ohm said. “I think we just need to work better at defending as a team. Everyone on the team has to defend better in order to get a W.”
While the Griffon defense was a little shaky, the offense seemed solid during both the UNO and Northwest games.
“When we possessed the ball we did really well,” Martin said.
Although two losses never looks good on a team’s record, the team managed to take some positive things from the past two games. Perseverance was one part of the game the team is succeeding in.
“We never gave up, we still managed to score goals in the games,” Ohm said. “Both our games were away, and it’s always tough to play on someone else’s field, especially in the conference. I don’t think we ever quit.”
Since the effort is there, Ohm believes that success will be coming soon for the Griffons.
“We were right there,” Ohm said. “We just have to turn the corner and tighten up our defense a little bit more.”
After last week’s losses, Missouri Western fell to 2-4 overall and 0-2 in the MIAA.
The team’s first home game is coming up Thursday Sept. 17 against Emporia State. After a rough past few weeks, the Griffons are very excited.
“We hope that playing in front of a home crowd will make things better,” Martin said.