Western shut out Graceland (Iowa), ranked No. 15 in the NAIA Women’s Soccer Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, 2-0, on Sunday afternoon’s game.
The Griffons were coming off of a fresh defeat at William Jewell College on Sept. 4, which knocked them to a record of 1-2. However, they showed off their strong offense and defense and grabbed another early win on Sept. 9, tying up their record to 2-2.
Senior goalkeeper Kelly Voigts had 5 saves alone in the first half and 9 total. She has greatly been a key component of our defense, explains sophomore mid-fielder Katie Kempf.
“Our defense is very strong this year,” Kempf said. “It builds up with the defense; if the defense is strong than [the offense] will work it’s way up. It all starts with the defense, and Kelly is a great goalie.”
About 10 minutes prior to the end of the first half, Kempf knocked in a heavily challenged goal to put Western up 1-0 over Graceland.
And the Griffons didn’t stop there.
They stayed on top of it as they entered the second period. The team took 11 shots on goal in the second half, 8 more than it had in the first period.
“I think it was the best we have moved the ball so far this season, so I think we did really well,” Kempf said.
Kempf later fired another goal off of an assist from sophomore forward K.C. Ramsell, making the score 2-0.
The goal was Kempf’s third of the season, already tying her total amount of goals she had last year.
Two goals were too much for the Yellowjackets to overcome.
The two goals scored matches a season-high for the Griffons as they also put in two against East Central University on Sept. 2.
“Overall, I thought the effort was there,” coach Chad Edwards said. “We played a good solid 70 minutes of quality soccer. There was a bit of a lull there where we were on our heels a bit, but that’s okay. It’s going to happen during games and I’m proud with how we responded to that adversity and bounced back and were able to put our chances away.”
The girls start MIAA conference play at 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 14 at Truman State.