Women’s soccer steamrolls towards UAA competition

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Although Nick Chubb’s 88 yard touchdown was an impressive demonstration of speed, another force to be reckoned with is the Case Western Reserve University’s women’s soccer team.

The Spartans stay undefeated for their last week of regular season play, picking up wins against Kenyon College and John Carroll University, both with scores of 3-1, improving their record to a 9-0-0. Their performance bumped the Spartans to rank 10th on the United Soccer Coaches National poll. The Spartans also broke the total goals scored record in a season, which was previously held at 32.

In their record breaking game against Kenyon, second-year Christina Hickinson caught the opposing goalie off guard when the opposing defenders passed the ball back for a reset. Hickinson’s burst of speed enabled her to drill the ball into the goal before the opposing keeper could pass the ball. In the second half, Kenyon responded with a goal of their own, tying the game 1-1. After kick-off, fourth-year Kimberly Chen found Hickinson at the right side of the box. Hickinson spun around her defender to receive the past and just got her shot off before the opposing defender could block it, rolling through the keeper’s hands. At around the 60 minute mark, first-year Aniya Hartzler drilled a 25 feet pass to second-year Anika Washburn at the middle of the thirty yard line. Washburn juked left and went right, creating separation for a deep shot towards the top right corner of the goal. The Spartans outshot Kenyon 21 to 7 shots. 

 

Around the 21 minute mark of the game against John Carroll, the Spartans offense swarmed the Blue Streaks defense, passing the ball around to prevent interception. First-year Merry Meyer lobbed the ball into the box to a trailing Chen, drawing first blood for the Spartans.  A minute after kickoff, good ball movement and positioning found Hartzler open one on one with the opposing keeper. The keeper came up and blocked the shot, but Washburn whizzed ahead the defense to tip the ball back in to extend the lead 2-0. Not staying content with their lead, the Spartans continued attacking, first-year Johanna Dunkers took a shot but it was saved by the opposing goalie, and Meyer’s shot went wide.

Not devastated by the deficit, John Carroll scored of a cross to mount their comeback. Starting in the second half, John Carroll subbed in their second keeper, who saved two shots in the first three minutes of the second half. Wanting to prevent the lead going out of hand, the Blue Streaks started playing aggressive defensive, racking up four fouls in the second half. 

Third-year Lauren Unterborn had two saves in the second half, including a diving jump to block a long-distance shot. To put the icing on the cake, second-year Greta Lazarra crossed the ball to Washburn at the middle of the box for her team-leading eighth goal of the season, handing John Carroll their second loss of the season. Washburn’s performance this week was recognized by her UAA athlete of the week honor, the second time this season.