The UW-Parkside women’s soccer team took on William Jewel College Friday afternoon from a cold and windy Wood Road Field. Despite taking Extra Time to find a winner, the experience and skill of the UW-Parkside inevitably proved to be too much for the newcomers to the Great Lakes Valley Conference. The women’s soccer team went on to defeat William Jewel College by a final score of 2-1.
“A win is a win at this point in the year,” said UW-Parkside’s women’s soccer head coach Troy Fabiano. “It was a frustrating game. I thought we had a way better first half. We controlled possession and created chances. In the second half we seemed disoriented. We just weren’t connecting.”
The first goal of the match was scored by the visitors just moments after UW-Parkside’s Kristen Benson almost notched the opening tally. Instead, the counter attack by William Jewel was lightning quick, as was the subsequent goal by Sarah Franklin.
Showing their championship quality, UW-Parkside didn’t let the deficit stand for long. In the thirty-fifth minute of the match, defender Brynn Darga scored the equalizing goal. The shot was taken not far off the edge of the penalty area, left-wing side, and placed in the top right corner of goal. With winds swirling onwards and upwards of twenty miles per hour down on the field, a shot such as this left William Jewel’s keeper Kelli Sontag no chance for a save.
“Brynn was our most dangerous offensive player and she plays in the back,” said coach Fabiano. “It was great to see Brynn respond because we’ve made some adjustments in the back and Brynn hasn’t played as much as she did. For her to come in, not worry about what happened in the past, get a goal and create an assist on the game winning goal was good for her.”
The second half was a severe struggle for both teams on the attacking front of play. The largest opportunity to win the game within ninety minutes came from William Jewel’s Taylore Depperman. Her shot was powerful enough to get through senior keeper Cassie Glodowski and roll its way towards an empty net. Fortunate for UW-Parkside’s sake, freshman Emily Konior raced down and cleared the ball just as it reached the line. This play ensured that the women’s soccer team would see its second consecutive match with Extra Time.
The way this match ended in Extra Time was reminiscent of how it began. This time, however, the tables were turned. William Jewel’s Sydney Jones’ chance left everyone frozen as it smacked off the crossbar. The rush off of that chance by UW-Parkside was headed up by Brynn Darga, who picked out Stephanie Barsuli, who then found Kristen Benson free to the left of goal. Benson’s finish was emphatic, and gave UW-Parkside the much needed win.
The win puts UW-Parkside’s women’s soccer team at an overall record of 8-2-1. They currently sit fourth in the GLVC, and have four games remaining before the playoffs begin. Sunday afternoon against Rockhurst University marks the last home game of the regular season. This also marks Senior Day, which will be a special day for the likes of Cassie Glodowski, Natalie Brown, Kristen Benson, and, all-time scoring record holder, Shannon Becker. As is the case with Senior Day, there will be a ceremony to pay tribute to the seniors playing their last match at home in the regular season.