After their big upset home win against fifth ranked Northern Kentucky, UW-Parkside’s women’s soccer team returned to Wood Road Field to face Bellarmine University. The Bellarmine Knights entered with an overall record of 4-3-0 and looked to be the first to post a win against the Rangers in Great Lakes Valley Conference play.
The Rangers started with a bang. A fantastic pass by sophomore Brynn Darga found junior striker Shannon Becker in stride. Becker split through two defenders and surged in on goal. Her strike went to the far reaches of the net and propelled Parkside to the lead by the third minute of the match.
As was the case with déjà vu at Wood Road Field today, this match was similar to the one played Friday against Northern Kenucky. In that match, Northern Kentucky answered back with an equalizer within a minute. Bellarmine scored their equalizer four minutes after Parkside’s goal. The goal, scored by senior Alissa Reuther, was headed in off a Bellarmine free kick, leaving no chance for Parkside’s Cassie Gladowski to make the stop.
“Now that [Parkside] is on top everyone is hunting [us],” said coach Troy Fabiano. “Today we didn’t bring our best. I think that had to do with heavy legs [from] Friday, but a lot had to do with Bellarmine.”
The two entered the second half tied at 1-1, but the dead lock was broken by Parkside’s two blistering forwards. Crystal Chalery, a sophomore from Milwaukee, WI, had a brilliant run on the right wing. Chalery’s speed sent her clean through three defenders before putting a shot on goal, which was saved but not trapped by Bellarmine’s Amy Kunowski. The ball dropped right to a well positioned Becker, who kicked the rebound chance right into the upper ninety for her second of the match and eleventh of the season.
The game started to go back into Bellarmine’s favor, and Parkside was dealt a blow by the head official. The game was chippy towards the end, and it led to Parkside’s Lauki’i Cheng getting sent off. Cheng, who missed Friday’s match against Northern Kentucky due to a red card, received yet another red card, for kicking back at a player who grabbed at her leg. Bellarmine’s Chelsea McCarty was given a yellow card for her part, and Coach Fabiano addressed Cheng’s second red card after the game.
“It was an ugly game,” admitted head coach Fabiano. “Bellarmine plays very organized and very structured. We tried to tell the girls to try and make sure we’re aware that Friday’s win was big, but it’s gone, it’s done, and we need to move on.”
The next opponent for Parkside is Concordia Chicago, an out of conference opponent from NCAA Division III. That game will be Wednesday at 3pm. From there, they’ll face St. Joseph’s College and the University of Indianapolis on the road next weekend. Their next home games will take place on October 8th against Lewis University, and October 10th against Robert Morris University.