Today’s match up, between the University of Indianapolis and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside women’s soccer teams, saw a grueling contest that would eventually be decided in questionable fashion. With Parkside getting the first two loses of the season last weekend, against Bellarmine and Northern Kentucky, it was crucial to get back to winning ways on home ground where they haven’t lost since September 17, 2006.
The weather would have set a better scene for a Packers-Bears game than it did here, as rain came three minutes prior to the start of the match, and came back briefly during the later stages of the first.
The opening ten minutes saw good paces being set by both the Rangers and the Greyhounds of Indianapolis. The afternoon saw the likes of Becky Zirlin, Meredith Novak, and Shannon Becker leading a cavalcade of chances for the Rangers, but nothing hit the back of the net.
Parkside seemed to have much better control, but wasn’t able to establish that control into decent scoring opportunities. Parkside out shot 11th ranked Indianapolis 17-7, with only two of those shots, for Indianapolis, being on target.
The moment that sealed it for Indianapolis had controversy built around it regardless of which side of the vocal crowd you were sitting amidst. Indianapolis forward Amanda Reese was tackled at the edge of the box, and screamed in pain from the challenge. Play went on for a while before a foul call was finally issued, but, in that time, Indianapolis scored a goal. That goal was disallowed; however, a penalty kick was awarded for the challenge on Reese.
The penalty was taken by freshmen forward Shelby Spinelli, who buried her shot into the left corner out of the reach of a diving Cassie Glodowski.
“To lose on a penalty kick, that’s a questionable call at home, I have an issue to swallow,” said Coach Troy Fabiano post-game, “It’s unfortunate to lose a game on a penalty kick. You dominate a team, but don’t put it in the back of the net, and that’s what happens.”
The Rangers would lose to the score of 1-0 on home ground for the first time in over three years, posting a record of 22-0-2 in that span. Some very close chances were there, but all seemed to spiral and hook past the posts, or be a cross that nobody could reach out for.
“Frustrating game,” said Coach Fabiano, “the girls played really hard.”
This game also saw Coach Troy Fabiano receive his third yellow card of the season, after a questionable offsides call. Fabiano had made remarks during the game that led to the head official walking over and making a scene of the situation, perhaps later setting up the inevitable yellow card for the women’s coach of twelve years.
“It’s not an excuse, but I felt the officiating wasn’t the best, and it had an issue with our girls adjusting to it. That being said, if you can’t get the ball in the back of the net, you can’t win.”
The women’s soccer team is currently running on a three game losing streak in which they have been shut out. This streak is coming from a game in which they won 7-0 over Kentucky Weslayen.
“If you don’t score, you don’t win; it’s that simple,” said Coach Fabiano, “It becomes a habit; winning is a habit and losing is a habit. Right now we’re sort of in a funk. We need to get a win really bad, really fast.”
Hopefully, playing against Saint Joseph’s, currently winless this season, will help change the tides for the women’s team, who lost its national ranking this past week. Still, Coach Troy Fabiano isn’t looking for a push over.
“No team is easy. Indianapolis beat Saint Joseph’s 1-0 in double overtime, and Bellarmine beat them 2-1. They’ve had results lately. We’re not in a situation where we can overlook anybody, losing three in a row. I don’t know when was the last time we’ve lost three in a row.”
The first lose in three years at Wood Road Field is a tough one to swallow, according to Coach Fabiano, but it did come to one of the top ranked teams in the conference. Look for a rebounding effort this Sunday afternoon as the Rangers take on the Pumas of Saint Joseph’s College at 12pm at Wood Road Field.