The UW-Parkside Rangers women’s soccer team remains undefeated within the Great Lakes Valley Conference after a comfortable win over Illinois-Springfield, 4-0. The Rangers overall record moves up to 12-1-1, and their only loss of the season was the season opener against out of conference Saginaw Valley State. The Rangers, ranked tenth in the nation entering the game, continued their winning ways.
The first half might not have started the way the Rangers would have liked. Considering Illinois-Springfield had a mere two wins on the year, the Rangers were held in relative check for the majority of the first half. However, the tide swung back to the Rangers as Megan Owens scored her third goal.
Going into the half with Parkside leading 1-0 may have been just what the Rangers needed. The game opened up greatly for the Rangers in the second half, and Kristen Benson would find the net for Parkside’s second goal in the fifty-fifth minute of the match. Three minutes later, junior striker Shannon Becker scored her fifteenth goal of the year to put Parkside out by three. The game was finally going according to plan.
“One of the things we wanted to make sure that we sorted out was not dropping our level to play against them,” said women’s soccer head coach Troy Fabiano.. “I think we did in the first half. The second half we made adjustments here and there. Then, our ball movement started creating gaps and created some goals for us.”
Not long after Becker scored her fifteenth on the year, Kristen Benson would score her second of the game. Benson broke free down the right wing after passes by Kelsey Armour and Madison Pickett. From there, Benson slotted it home for her fifth goal of the season.
“We played a lot better in the second half,” noted Fabiano. “We were able to execute our ball movement, and created some gaps in their back line.”
In the end, it was a 4-0 Parkside victory. Of note, it was senior day for the Rangers, and three Rangers were honored at a half time ceremony that recognized their efforts to the team. The three seniors, Kahili Cheng, Kelsey Krzyzaniak, and Caitlin Moon, walked out onto the field with their families, and were given a warm ovation from the crowd in attendance.
“No matter what, senior day is always emotional just because they have been here for four years,” said Fabiano. “They’ve all contributed in different ways, either on the game or on the practice field. They have to enjoy it.”
Next up for the Rangers is a road trip to face Drury and Rockhurst next weekend. If all goes according to plan, the Rangers should be set to host a GLVC Playoff game, and then possibly the rest of the Tournament. Still, there is a lot left before the Rangers get there, but the mindset is in the right place.
“Anytime you play on the road in this conference, it’s difficult,” noted Fabiano. “Drury and Rockhurst will be a good test, and obviously there is a lot on the line.”