Missouri Western soccer played tough, but was unable to pull off the upset against the No. 12 Central Missouri Jennies Saturday night at Spratt Stadium, as they fell 3-1.
The Griffons fall to 3-4 overall and 0-1 in MIAA conference play while the Jennies improved to 9-1 and 2-0 in conference play.
“We battled and fought with them,” coach Chad Edwards said. “They were undefeated last year and made the NCAA tournament, so for us to battle and be tied at half is great. Now we have to finish the game and play that second half.”
Central wasted little time scoring the first goal. Becky Lackey knocked in her fifth goal of the season on a rebound from one-yard-out in the fourth minute.
The Griffons tied the score at 1-1 when they connected on their only shot attempt of the first half. Teddie Serna scored on an assist from K.C. Ramsell at the 20-yard-line on a shot that landed in the bottom left corner of the net.
“We made the run up the field and K.C. ran into some pressure,” said Serna. “I was open behind her so she just dropped it back, and I had the opportunity to shoot so I took it.”
The game was tied 1-1 at halftime despite the Jennies controlling field position and attempting 22 shots to the Griffons one.
The Jennies made the score 2-1 on a goal from Carly Stanley in minute 57 from 15-yards-out. The assist was from Kristin Bright.
Kayla Shain assisted on a goal from Alyssa Rhodes in the 71st minute to make the score 3-1.
Western only attempted three shots on the day and attempted no corner kicks, while the Jennies shot 39 times and had eight corner kicks. Ashlyn Castillo and Brooke English both missed on their only shot attempts.
Ramsell is the Griffons leading scorer on the season with five goals; however she was unable to get off a shot attempt against the Jennies. Ramsell is only two goals shy from the all-time record of goals made at Western.
Despite allowing three goals, Western goalkeeper Kelly Voigts saved 14 shots, including some athletic diving saves on several occasions when the Jennies had a chance to extend the lead.
“She is a stud, and I am so thrilled she is on our side,” said Edwards. “She is an all-conference player for sure.”
The Griffons have held the lead or been tied at halftime in all four of their losses this season. They defeated Washburn 2-1 on Thursday.
“I’m proud of the girls for figuring out a way to keep in the games for a half, but now we just have to finish our games like we did on Thursday,” Edwards said.
Both teams committed five fouls in a very physical contest.
“That’s what you are going to get playing top teams in the country,” Edwards said. “I don’t think we looked less physical than them, they just possessed the ball a little better. That’s a very good team.”
The Griffons will play their second conference game on Tuesday when they take on the Truman State Bulldogs in Kirksville, Mo.