Sunday afternoon was Senior Day for the UW-Parkside women’s soccer team. It was the last regular season home match in the outstanding careers of Kristen Benson, Natalie Brown, Cassie Glodowski, and Shannon Becker. The contest was against Rockhurst University, and ultimately proved to be the team’s third successive overtime match at home and second of which to finish in a draw.
“It’s a great group,” coach UW-Parkside women’s soccer head coach Troy Fabiano said of his seniors. “They’ve accomplished a lot. As a senior group to go 50-11, win two conference championships, and get in the NCAA tournament. It’s a great group of girls. Not even just on the field but off the field.”
The game opened with Shannon Becker taking advantage of a mistake by Rockhurst’s keeper Lucy Sullivan. The ball was spilled to the feet of the senior sniper who celebrated her Senior Day by scoring the opening goal within two minutes of play. It was Shannon Becker’s seventh goal of the season and her forty-first of her UW-Parkside career.
From the opening goal forward, UW-Parkside looked destined to score again. Lauki’i Cheng’s free kick found senior Kristen Benson in the box. While it looked for a moment as though Benson also marked her last home game with a goal, she was flagged for offside, and the goal was removed.
“I thought we came out well in the first half,” said coach Fabiano. “We wanted to get a quick start. I thought we played well in the first half then the second half we didn’t finish what we started.”
After the halftime ceremonies, Rockhurst came out flying. The opening twenty minutes of the second half was entirely dictated by their attacking play, and it finally lead to a penalty kick. Taking the kick from the spot was Haley Long for Rockhurst, and her PK strike was blasted off the crossbar and down to level the game at 1-1.
The Rockhurst equalizer opened the game back up for UW-Parkside, who started pushing back strongly. Reaching the late stages of the match, this pressure proved to be almost fatal for Rockhurst when Paige Sielfleisch took down Shannon Becker, who was on a flyer on the counter attack. Sielfleisch received her second yellow card, and was sent off in the eighty-seventh minute.
Entering overtime for the third straight contest, UW-Parkside struggled to find their groove. The biggest chance to find a winner in the extra time was on the foot of Rockhurst’s Taylor Skala. Having gotten on the end of a miscue at the back of the UW-Parkside defense, Skala was one-on-one with UW-Parkside senior keeper Cassie Glodowski. The shot was struck low and hard, but Cassie literally made the save of the game for the Rangers.
The 1-1 draw puts the women’s soccer team at an overall record of 8-2-2. They finish the season off with three road games against Drury, Missouri S&T, and Lewis. The first GLVC tournament game is scheduled for October 30th.