It was an absolutely picture perfect day outside, as well as for the Women’s Soccer team. This afternoon, the UW-Parkside Rangers faced the Missouri S&T Miners. The game was heavily controlled by the Parkside ladies, whose early speed and control lead to a 5-1 win today.
Right out of the gate, Missouri S&T goal keeper Stacey Luquette was put to the test. The Rangers were able to get three very close chances on goal within the first five minutes of the game. Come the 11th minute of the game, a Parkside corner nearly lead to the first goal of the game, but the rebound shot was deflected by an S&T defender guarding the right hand post.
A minute later, Meredith Novak would net the first goal of the match for Parkside, off of a brilliant strike from outside the box. Not more than a minute after Novak scored, Shannon Becker scored the second goal for Parkside, after deking past S&T’s keeper.
It was fairly evident that Parkside was out pacing Missouri S&T in the first half. The Rangers were out running S&T, and kept better possession. That kind of combination creates scoring chances, one of which came to Becky Zirlin in the 26th minute, after a great run on the left wing.
The goal scored by Becky Zirlin hit the crossbar, spiked down, and was played out by S&T keeper Stacey Luquette. It wasn’t thought to be a goal until a linesman made the call to rule the ball went over the line, and the Women’s team now led 3-0.
While this game was very competitive, that didn’t stop the coaches from joking around during the final minutes of the first half, which saw S&T score their first goal of the match in the 42nd minute of the game. After an S&T foul, Missouri S&T Coach Jon Kiester shouted out to the officials, “Come on, it’s a contact sport!”
The comment from Coach Kiester got a laugh from the crowd, as well as Parkside’s Coach Troy Fabiano. Coach Fabiano later returned the favor after a Parkside foul, by repeating the same message to the officals.
Come the start of the second half, Missouri S&T came out much more aggressive, and were controlling the pace very well. In the 54th minute, S&T had a golden opportunity to make the game 3-2. After an S&T corner was deflected to the edge of the box, S&T had the rebound strike blocked, as well as the rebound to that rebound.
The game seemed to turn from that point from an S&T rally to a defensive battle. Both sides traded quality runs through the midfield, and into scoring range, only to have the defense win back the ball and have the same fate happen to them.
With the defensive effort being raised, the aggressive challenges also started to take effect. From close quarter battling for the ball, to people being up-ended, the challenges had both coaches wondering about whether or not cards should be brought into play for the fouls that were happening.
While there was no card for what happened, play was brought to halt in the 64th minute of play, after Meredith Novak was injured in an aerial challenge for the ball. “She took a header, and got a bit bloodied up,” said Assistant Coach Sam Sosnay after the match. Meredith Novak was taken off the field to stop the bleeding, but eventually returned to play most of the second half.
Nearing a half hour into the second half, Kelsey Krzyzaniak picked up Parkside’s fourth goal of the game, after a great run and pass down the right wing by Shannon Becker. Two minutes after Krzyzaniak’s goal, Becky Zirlin picked up her second goal of the match, which was a close range shot while surrounded by S&T defenders.
The game then had its run with booking penalties. In the 85th minute, two yellow cards were given out, one to both team for hard and reckless challenges. While the cards may have been given, it didn’t make the competitive atmosphere bitter. Both sides played in a fair spirit amongst one another, and the contest concluded at 5-1 to the UW Parkside Women’s Team.
The Women’s Soccer Team, who have scored ten goals in the last two games, currently stand with a record of 2-0-1 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. Their next match will take place next week Friday, and will be on the road against Maryville University.