UW-Parkside’s women’s soccer team may have lost their number one seed entering the Great Lakes Valley Conference tournament, but they were still ranked high enough to host a quarterfinal contest against Rockhurst University. The Rangers beat the Hawks of Rockhurst on the road a week prior to Sunday afternoon’s contest and won that bout 2-1 in overtime. Fortunately for the Rangers, on Halloween Sunday’s rematch in the GLVC tournament, overtime wasn’t needed at all. The Rangers won in convincing fashion over Rockhurst, 4-0.
“I thought in the first half we dominated play and just struggled in the final third finishing,” admitted head coach Troy Fabiano. “The second half we kept the possession. I told the girls to be a little bit more patient instead of taking shots from a not realistic range.”
The game went Parkside’s way from the outset. The Rangers controlled the ball majority of the hal and shut down Rockhurst’s offensive attacks around the midfield line. The first goal for Parkside would come from Shannon Becker. Becker, after great passes from Megan Owens and Kristen Benson, was set for a one on one with Rockhurst’s keeper Lucy Sullivan. Becker, who worked around a defender, ran right around the charging keeper, and slotted it home for the first goal of the match and Becker’s sixteenth of the year.
The second half was a great continuation of the strong first half performance. The Rangers had more room to work with, and saw better scoring chances fall in their laps. The second goal of the game for Parkside looked all too easy. After Kristen Benson found Natalie Brown, Brown crossed it post to post finding freshman Stephanie Barsuli, who scored her second goal of the year.
In the eighty-first minute, Natalie Brown’s first goal of the year proved to be the goal of the match. Brown, a sophomore midfielder, ran up on a loose ball, side stepped a charging defender, and curled a shot off the fingertips of the keeper for Parkside’s third goal. Brown was eventually credited with her second goal of the match, which appeared to be an own goal by Rockhurst in the eighty-fourth minute. It was the final goal of the game, and Parkside cruised to a 4-0 victory.
“I thought [Natalie Brown] did a good job finishing,” noted head coach Fabiano. “ She had a great week of practice.”
Of note, junior striker Shannon Becker broke the women’s soccer all time points record in this match. Having been named the 2010 GLVC Offensive Player of the Year, Shannon Becker scored a goal and was credited with two assists Sunday, and moved past Bryanna Jurvis and Meredith Novak’s ninety-seven career points total to become Parkside’s highest point scorer ever. Becker also tied Novak’s record for most goals in a season with her sixteenth in this match. There are still games ahead for this season, and Becker still has her senior season to look forward to as well.
“[Shannon Becker] deserves it. Shannon is a very gifted athlete,” said head coach Fabiano. “She works hard. She has really dedicated herself in the offseason for this year.”
With Northern Kentucky winning their quarterfinal match against Drury, the GLVC Final Four will take place on their turf. The Rangers are set to play Quincy in a rematch that pushed Parkside to their limits in a home win of 1-0. The semifinals take place November 5th, and the final will take place November 7th.