The Griffons welcomed MIAA newcomers Central Oklahoma Friday, Sept. 28 and Northeastern State on Sunday, Sept. 30 to Spratt Stadium. Coming off of a hard second overtime loss to rival Northwest Missouri State, the Griffons were anxious to step up their game against No. 18 Bronchos.
Central Oklahoma — 1 Missouri Western — 0
Goalkeeper Kelly Voigts saved all six shots on goal from reaching the back of the net, helping Missouri Western hold its opponents scoreless in the first half. Midfielder AJ Powers had the Griffons’ only shot on goal of the half.
The Bronchos kept on coming in the second half, getting off 14 more shots. The game-winning goal came in the 67th minute from Central Oklahoma’s Brittni Walker. Voigts would save four of the five shots on goal in the second half, giving her 10 saves for the game.
Western would fall just shy of the upset over Central Oklahoma, losing 1-0.
“We lacked stability and got ourselves into too big of a hurry,” coach Chad Edwards said. “We just didn’t maintain possession enough. We were allowing them to have a lot more opportunities than they should have. Maintaining possession of the ball is the key from here on out.”
Northeastern State — 3 Missouri Western — 1
The Griffons tried to get back into rhythm Sunday afternoon against Northeast State. With Voigts on the sideline due to a recent head injury, junior Rayelin Garcia would start for the first time for the Griffons.
The first half was highly physical with neither team really gaining an edge on the other. Sophomores Emily Hoffman and Katie Kempf were both sidelined due to injuries during the game, Hoffman with a bleeding head and Kempf with a knee problem. In the 38th minute, Northeastern put the RiverHawks on the board off a penalty kick. They added another goal just as the whistle blew to end the half, making it a 2-0 game in favor of Northeastern.
Western recovered quickly in the second half when freshman Sydney Andrews scored off a penalty kick in the 47th minute. But the RiverHawks would respond just minutes later with another goal. The score would remain the same until the end of regulation.
Northeastern got nine of its 26 shots on goal, while Western managed to get two of its four on goal. Garcia collected six saves. The Griffons would lose to Northeastern 3-1, falling to 1-3 in MIAA play and 3-6 overall.
“We could always improve,” Andrews said. “But I’m proud of us for sticking it out and keeping it together. It sucks that we lost, but we’ll get back up there.”
The Griffons will open their first of four straight road games at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 5 at Washburn.