Western soccer splits weekend 1-1 in South Dakota

Sports

Western soccer traveled to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, splitting their series there 1-1, with a 1-0 loss to Augustana, and a 2-1 win over the University of Sioux Falls.

In game one against Augustana, Western took 10 shots with only three falling on goal, while AU took 14 shots with nine falling on goal.

t was only a one point loss, but even then, coach Chad Edwards was not too excited about the defense played.

“It’s one goal too many,” Edwards said. “This game was won by a mistake, and it just happened to be ours. We’re looking to further improve our defense.”

Ever since their first game, Western has conceded only one goal each game, en route to a 2-1 record since that opening loss.

The Vikings of AU had their nine shots on goal, which was the biggest discrepancy on the stat line, while 11 of Augie’s 14 shots came after halftime to make the final tally look a little different.

Augie’s goal was the only shot out of nine shots that were on goal to make it past freshman goalkeeper Anna Mayer.

Sophomore Ava Blessie talked about how the team has grown over these first four games.

“You can tell the newcomers are really getting into their roles in the locker room and on the field,” Blessie said. “They’re joking around more, having fun, and you can tell the friendship, trust and chemistry is building game after game.”

In the second game, the Griffons rebounded for the second week in a row, this time beating USF 2-1.

Sophomore Lillian Davis scored very early, only :38 into the game, giving Davis her first goal on the season.

Another score didn’t happen for 56 minutes, but it was another Griffon, sophomore Madison Utley, who also scored her first goal of the season, giving the Griffs a 2-0 lead, which they’d hold until the 2-1 final score.

Both teams had seven shots on goal, although Western out shot USF 19-16. Other than that, the statistics were pretty similar for both teams.
The one goal USF scored was off a header from a corner kick, and Edwards was happy about that.

“I will say, two of the goals we’ve conceded this year so far, have been a penalty kick and a corner kick header,” Edwards said. “I want better defense, but I am proud of what our players have shown so far.”

With Davis and Utley scoring Sunday, four different Griffons have provided the team’s four goals this season.

Senior Bailey Ketcham talked about the weekend and her thoughts about the games.

“It was a tough weekend, but I think we’ve found who we are as a team, and we have that chemistry,” Ketcham said. “We are definitely not the team you saw in that opening loss.”

Western comes back to Missouri this upcoming weekend, traveling to Lindenwood and then Northwest, on Friday and Sunday respectively.