Women’s soccer snaps three-game losing streak versus Northern Ohio

Spartans return home with a much-needed victory

J.P. O'Hagan, Staff Reporter

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The Spartan women bounced back from a three-game losing streak with their first home game in two weeks beating Northern Ohio University 1-0 on Tuesday night. The team’s return home helped them rebound from a disappointing 1-0 loss to Kenyon University on Saturday afternoon.

The Spartans are undefeated at home, outscoring opponents 5-0 at Case so far this season. “Travel takes us away for many entire days and that changes everything,” head coach Tiffany Crooks said, “It’s wonderful to be back home and playing in front of our fans!”

The Spartans were shut out Saturday afternoon by Kenyon University. As the last game of a four game away stint, it was the Spartans’ third straight loss. Case was a strong aggressor throughout the game, outshooting Kenyon by 10 shots. However, the Case Western offense was unable to find the back of the net. Kenyon’s Becca Romanie took advantage on one of her team’s few opportunities and beat Spartan keeper Abbey Smith unassisted early in the second half at the 48:48 mark.

The Spartans turned up the heat on Kenyon for the rest of the game, with four shots in the last minutes by various members of the Spartans’ front line. Despite the losing skid, the Spartans have performed at a high level throughout the past two weeks, outshooting opponents over the away stint. “We have actually played well but haven’t had the luck of the game on our side,” Crooks said.

While luck certainly isn’t everything in a game of soccer, a single play can change the outcome of a game. The team who has the most shots doesn’t always end up as the victor. With that in mind, the women’s team has come together over the past week to improve their game and prove they are better than their record may suggest. “The team has great chemistry. I think everyone has stepped up considerably in the past week,” Crooks said, “We had to be very resilient and recommit to our journey as a team. This is a great group of women.”

The return to Case Western was not the easiest game for the Spartans. Despite the 1-0 win, Ohio Northern University battled Case Western shot for shot Tuesday night. Leah Levey sent a hard short shot into the bottom corner of the Northern Ohio University net in the 40th minute off an assist from Kiley Armstrong for the only goal of the game. It was only the Spartans’ second goal in the past four games.

Luckily, it was all that the team needed as Smith held the shutout saving four shots. This included one crucial shot late in the second half when she deflected an incoming shot off of her own post that was then cleared by the Spartans defense.

Despite the rough two weeks the Spartans remain steadfast in their game plans. “We haven’t changed the game plan,” Crooks said. “We are still looking to impose our style of play on the game. Every game brings unique challenges. We have made personnel adjustments within the game to try to find the best match-ups on the field and give us our best chance at success.”

The Spartans, now 4-4, look to improve to above .500 on Sunday Sept. 29th against John Carroll University at home. Furthermore, the team is preparing for division play. “Going forward, we’re looking to build on momentum from (Tuesday) night and getting closer to the start of the UAA season,” said Crooks.