The UW-Parkside Rangers soccer teams had their Great Lakes Valley Conference home openers today, as both the men’s and women’s teams saw action against the University of Missouri St. Louis at Wood Road Field.
The men’s side saw the Rangers’ first loss in conference play, dropping this afternoon’s contest by a score of 2-0 against the University Missouri St. Louis Tritons. The Rangers’ overall record now stands at 2-1-1, and are 0-1-1 within the GLVC.
The following game from Parkside’s women’s soccer team provided much more excitement on the day, however. This game, also played against the Tritons, saw multiple goals and yellow cards throughout the course of the game.
“The thing we exposed about [Missouri St. Louis] was the pace out of their back didn’t compare to our two forwards,” said Head Coach Troy Fabiano.
The Rangers did not take long at all to match the previous score of the men’s game. Junior striker, Shannon Becker, scored in the third minute of play, after a clever chip up and over Missouri St. Louis’ keeper, Hanna Sayre. Not to be out played by her fellow striker, sophomore, Crystal Chalery followed suit in the scoring department within the same minute of Becker’s goal.
The simple fact is this: the forward pairing of Shannon Becker and Crystal Chalery proved to be unstoppable in the first half of play. Between Becker’s physicality and Chalery’s incredible speed, the two have pace that is very hard to lock down both of them.
“I thought that [Missouri St. Louis] out possessed us,” said Coach Fabiano. “What we try to do is stay a little bit more low pressure, absorb [Missouri St. Louis’] pressure, and just counter with our speed. We have two forwards that can just fly.”
As things continued to play out in the first half, Chalery scored her second goal of the match. This time, it was a matter of outstanding field awareness from Chalery. The sophomore from Milwaukee stayed right on the back line of the Triton defense, and ran on to a clean pass unmarked and in open space in the box, leaving the keeper no chance.
It is arguable that the University of Missouri St. Louis could have faired so much better in the game if not for goalkeeping blunders. The first goal was a matter of positioning, as was the second, and, eventually, Parkside’s fourth goal was all a matter of catching and maintaining an in-swinging corner kick.
The fourth goal, which would later be credited to junior midfielder Kristen Benson, was a controversial call. The corner kick swung right to Triton keeper Hanna Sayre, but Sayre lost hold of the ball upon coming down with the ball. Amidst the scramble for a loose ball in front of the mouth of goal, a shot came in, and was deflected very quickly out. The call appeared to be for either offside or hand ball. After the head official discussed the matter with the near linesman, it was ruled a goal for the Rangers, their fourth of the first half.
The second half brought a lot more of what was expected in the match. The visiting Tritons played more like the team that drew even against top running GLVC team Indianapolis last year, pressuring the Rangers much more consistently. This eventually led to Missouri St. Louis’ lone goal of the match, scored by Kaylee Neutzling.
A focal point of this game that came to ahead late in the match was the amount of bookings the official dished out. Six total yellow cards were handed out to the Rangers, and that does not include Head Coach Troy Fabiano, who was booked when he argued with the head official.
Shannon Becker had a clean breakaway set after powering by her marked defender on the left wing. What happened was this player from the Tritons grabbed Becker’s #22 uniform to the point it stretched out visibly as Shannon Becker tried running out of the jersey pulling. This event happened just outside of the box, and buzz killed a one-on-one scoring opportunity.
“We told [Becker] to take it easy because she did get a yellow card, and we didn’t want her to get another,” explained Coach Fabiano. “But, I think it’s one of those things just like with little kids. When a little kid gets pushed around, it’s a foul. When a big kid gets pushed around, don’t worry about it look how big she is. Shannon is a very physical and strong girl. She’s able to dish it out, but I think it should be called both ways.”
On the bright side, Crystal Chalery had multiple one-on-one situations to account for the one missed. She fought very hard to get a hat trick on the day, and finally cashed in with her hat trick goal with three minutes left to play. The hat trick performance by Chalery capped off a 5-1 Parkside victory, setting them up with a great head of steam into the next match this Sunday.
“I look at the result, and it’s always great to win,” said Head Coach Troy Fabiano, “but I also understand what it takes to win in this conference, and I just want to understand the girls understand that.”
The Rangers’ next opponent is the University of Maryville. The Maryville Saints men’s squad enters in off a loss to Lewis, and has an overall and GLVC record of 0-2. The women’s squad is also coming in from a loss against Lewis, and enters with a 1-2 overall record, 1-1 within the GLVC.