This week, Western prepares to face the University of Central Oklahoma Bronchos in the third MIAA match-up of the season.
After last week’s tie against rival Northwest, Western stepped off of the field with a newfound drive to compete.
Last season, UCO finished with a fantastic 16-3-3 record. They had 336 shots last year, and that was almost double that of their opponents, and they scored 42 out of 158 S.O.G.
They currently are sitting at a 3-4-1 record for this season. So far, they are sitting at 61 shots on goal in seven games, 23 of those come from Emily Hahn. They score at least once per game and the only time they haven’t scored this season is when they played against Missouri Southern to a 0-0 tie.
This indicates that they seem to rely heavily on their offense to drive down the field and make as many attempts at goal as possible.
A lot of their shots seem to be taken in the second half of the game, so a heavy defense from Western will be vital to winning against this team.
UCO’s defense is pretty standard, but their goalie, Brandi Bartley, is phenomenal when the ball is on their side of the field. They drive so much that the goalie doesn’t really have to do a lot of work. Brantley only has 22 saves so far this season.
As always, Western views this high-level team as a challenge and not a threat.
“The Central Oklahoma team is very skilled,” forward AJ Powers said. “They play with lots of passion.”
Powers noted on what the team needs to do to come out of Edmond, OK with a victory.
“Coming out strong and playing to our full ability will be vital to winning this game,” Powers said.
Western is as determined as ever to walk off of the field with a win.
“I think to walk off the field with a win, no matter who we play, it will take drive, determination and focus,” Midfielder Katelyn Palmer said. “We have to come together, no distractions, and play the game we know how to play. It’ll take communication on and off the field, support from all players, and the will to play for each other for 90 minutes.”
This isn’t the first time Western and UCO have met on the field.
Last season the two teams faced off, only to leave Western with a 1-0 loss.
When asked about the rematch, forward K.C. Ramsell said, “UCO is definitely a tough, competitive team. They are one of the top teams in our conference. Last year we fought hard against them but fell 0-1.”
Ramsell also stated what the team needs to accomplish together to win on Friday.
“We are going to have to work hard as a team and play some of the best soccer we can against them,” Ramsell said
After the match against Central Oklahoma, Western will head to Tahlequah, OK to face the Riverhawks of Northeastern State University on Oct. 6 at 1 p.m.