On a beautiful Friday afternoon, the UW-Parkside women’s soccer team took to Wood Road Field with a fire underneath them following the previous weekend’s road split. The team came out flying against GLVC foe Kentucky Wesleyan, who entered the game with a 1-7 overall record. The end result was a comfortable 4-0 victory.
Although it has never been a staple of their offense, UW-Parkside was heading the ball all over the place early in the match while earning seven first half corner kicks. This paid dividends for the first goal of the match scored by Stephanie Barsuli, who headed in her sixth goal of the season in the twenty-ninth minute.
Just three minutes after the opening goal of the match, UW-Parkside would double their lead. After a corner kick was dropped by Kentucky Wesleyan keeper Troyana Hardy, senior midfielder Natalie Brown pounced on the loose ball to score her third goal of the season.
Rounding out the first half scoring for UW-Parkside was Kelsey Armour. The sophomore midfielder latched onto a through ball by Jasmine Espino, which sent her free on goal. The strike was blasted into the bottom left corner to push the lead to three. Armour was one of eight players to make an appearance off the bench in the match, and it was her first goal of the season.
The women’s soccer match finished with a bang. In the seventy-second minute of play, senior striker Shannon Becker set UW-Parkside’s All Time Goals Scored record. The play that resulted in her fortieth career goal for UW-Parkside was simply vintage. She out ran one defender to get the ball, she cut in front of that defender to put her out of the play, slashed across another defender in the box, and slammed the shot across her body and in the back of the net. Having already broken the All Time Scoring record for UW-Parkside, all that stands in Becker’s way is the All Time Assists record.
“She’s a great kid,” said UW-Parkside women’s soccer head coach Troy Fabiano. “She has a great work rate. She is physically above everyone else. We’ve had a lot of good players, and girls up top who could score goals. I just don’t know if we’ve had somebody with her size, pace, and the ability to hit the ball the way she can hit a ball.”
The 4-0 win improves the women’s soccer team to an overall record of 7-2, and sets the tone for a lengthy home stand. Sunday afternoon they face Southern Indiana. Next weekend’s lineup has William Jewel College in on Friday afternoon and Rockhurst on Sunday afternoon.
“We want three wins,” laughed coach Fabiano. “Simple as that.”