The UW-Parkside Rangers women’s soccer team played against the Lewis University Flyers at Wood Road Field this afternoon in a Great Lakes Valley Conference match up. The Rangers, ranked twelfth in the nation, entered with an undefeated record within the GLVC, and that mark would remain after a 1-0 victory over the Flyers.
“This late in the season, you take the win and you move on,” said women’s head coach Troy Fabiano. “Life could be a little bit worse if you didn’t win, but they got the result, which is the biggest thing.”
For those attending this one, a familiar face was missing on the pitch this afternoon. Crystal Chalery, a sophomore from Milwaukee, was injured in last Friday’s road match against St. Joseph’s College. The injury resulted in a broken collarbone and has potentially sidelined her for the season.
Stepping up into her role, alongside junior striker Shannon Becker, was junior Megan Owens. Typically playing from the midfield setting, it didn’t take long to confirm that this new pairing might just click. After a run and strike off the left wing by Shannon Becker, a rebound was left on the table for Megan Owens to score her first goal of the year in the second minute of the match.
From this moment, when a team scores so early, the expectation of more of the same isn’t out of the question. However, that didn’t exactly manifest itself from this point on. The goal from Owens would be the lone goal of the contest, but the 1-0 score line shouldn’t be a damper on what was a clinical game of defense from the women’s team this afternoon.
Parkside held Lewis to zero shots on goal for the full ninety minutes of play. Lewis managed to earn four corners kicks, two more than Parkside, but they struggled mightily to move past midfield and get any type of offensive rhythm going in the match. Though there weren’t shots on goal, Cassie Glodowski’s twenty-sixth career shutout still had her making key stops, which disallowed any second chance opportunities for Lewis in a game where a mistake can tie things up and change the entire dynamic of the game.
While Parkside still sits undefeated in the GLVC, with a 9-0-1 conference record, they will be pressing to find someone to fill Crystal Chalery’s role, alongside Shannon Becker up front. Becker and Chalery had a unique chemistry on the field that was difficult to defend. If you defended one of them, the other snuck into the right spot. Even if both were marked, it spread the defense apart for others to chip in offensively from the midfield. With big games ahead, it will be focal point moving forward.
“Crystal [Chalery] going down last Friday with a broken collarbone, people are just focusing in on Shannon [Becker], and you see what happens,” admits Coach Troy Fabiano. “It’s difficult today when Shannon beat one, beat two, and then there is a third behind them. We need somebody to step up to that spot. We’re getting very thin at the forward line.”
The women’s soccer team does not have a game on Sunday afternoon, and will next see Quincy University in a big showdown that takes place at Wood Road Field on October 15th.
“Quincy is a huge game,” noted Coach Fabiano. “Quincy is 6-0-3. They haven’t lost. They play Northern Kentucky Sunday, and they play us. I know their coach is getting them prepared for two big games back to back.”