Sitting at three wins in nine games with a good shot at making the MIAA tournament doesn’t seem all too bad for Missouri Western soccer, especially after winning only two games last season.
But after playing the nine games, looking at what could have been for the Griffons is rough. Chad Edwards took over the team in early August, and it responded well for him. Except Western has held a lead or have been tied at half time in every single match.
The second half woes continued over the past week, as Western lost to Truman State and Southwest Baptist. Both losses were by one goal; both goals were in the 72nd minute.
“Tuesday was a debacle,” said Edwards, referring to his team’s loss in Kirksville. “But we had some chances to score. We just didn’t get it done.”
Western hasn’t had difficulty on the road thus far. It went to Oklahoma and shut out Southwest Oklahoma State 2-0. Then it defeated both Emporia State and Washburn to have a 3-3 record. However, with three straight losses, Western soccer is starting to spiral down in the MIAA.
On Tuesday, Ashley Juravich shot Western’s only ball in the whole game, compared to Truman’s 34. Goalkeeper Kelly Voigts tallied 12 saves for the Griffons in Kirksville.
Edwards said that he wasn’t too upset with the difference in shot attempts, because a lot of the Bulldogs shots never had a chance. They were high or wide each time.
Still, the Griffons couldn’t pull out the win as Jaclyn Schumann knocked in the lone goal.
Four days later Western played tight against Baptist. With no score at halftime, the Bearcats’ Ashely Creason nailed one of her three attempts to put her team up a goal. Western never answered and lost a fifth game decided by one goal.
“We’ve been talking about it since day one: Let’s get forward,” Edwards said. “We’re playing scared. The battle is the fear of getting scored on.”
Erin Widrig, after missing the first month, was cleared to play and started against Baptist. She is expected to contributed more as the Griffons need her in order to make a push towards the conference tournament.
So far this season, Western has tallied 10 goals, eight by freshmen (K.C. Ramsell, Teddy Serna and Katie Kempf). Another freshman, Emily Hoffmann, has attempted three shots and they have all been on goal.
“[They’re] starting to realize it takes a lot more than it did in high school to win ball games,” Edwards said.
Five more games are left on the Griffon’s schedule before the MIAA Soccer Championship in Kansas City, Mo., Nov. 3 through 6.