Women’s Soccer still positive after loss at Wittenberg

J.P. O'Hagan, Staff Reporter

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The Spartans dropped to 3-3 after an unfortunate overtime loss to Wittenberg, a late loss to Baldwin Wallace, and when Thursday’s game was ruled a no contest against Oberlin. The Case Western women’s team played very well over the past week despite only chalking up a loss on their record.
“Being on the road has been tough. It’s a lot of time away from campus and the travel takes a toll on our legs,” Head Coach Tiffany Crooks said. “It’s been very important that we take advantage of any time we get to recover.

The Spartans were leading 4-1 in Thursday night’s women’s soccer match against Oberlin when officials deemed a no contest due to lightning. The game did not reach the 70th minute and therefore the game is considered to not be an official game and does not affect the season record of either time or the season stats. This was a disappointment for the Spartans.

Senior captain Leah Levey had scored three goals, a “hat trick,” in the first half and was leading a very productive offense. The scoring started early when Levey scored the game’s first goal at the 17:17 mark off an assist by Jessie Sabers. However, Oberlin tied the game just seven seconds later, beating Spartan keeper Abbey Smith. It was the first goal against Smith in over two games. Levey took the lead back with a strong 30-yard shot that found the back of the net in the 25th minute. She then tapped in another goal in the 38th minute to complete her hat trick, the first of her career.

“Leah is a very skilled player,” Crooks said. “She was connecting a ton with her teammates and the space was there for her to attack. She took advantage of her opportunities.”

However, the weather turned shortly after halftime as a large storm came in, causing a lightning delay. The Spartans continued to dominate on offense as Co-Captain Rachel Bourque scored her first goal of the season during the limited restart, bringing the score to 4-1. Just a few minutes later, a second lightning delay forced the officials to call the game. The team will replay the game on Oct. 8, and can hopefully duplicate their strong showing.

Against Wittenberg on Sunday Sept. 15 the Spartans played a very strong game, battling the Tigers through regulation. However the Spartans were unable to find the back of the net as the score remained tied at zero despite outshooting Wittenberg.

“We played very well against Wittenberg and had really great chances to score. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to put any of those chances in the back of the net,” Crooks said.

The defense play a strong game and Smith had six saves between the posts. However the Spartan’s also lost a crucial part of their back line last week against Wooster when Lauren Wichman went down. She is out for the season. “The defense is starting to connect much better,” said Crooks.

“(Losing Wichman) is going to take some time for the group to sort out some new roles. But, it’s also an opportunity for new players to step up.”
Despite the strong defensive play by the Spartans, the Tigers snatched away the match from Case Western when Wittenberg’s Kayla Murphy beat Smith just over a minute into overtime, scoring the games only and winning goal.

Wednesday night, a strong showing by the Spartan’s was spoiled by a late goal after the Baldwin Wallace, Yellow Jackets scored it’s second goal in the 80th minute to get the go ahead and had the Spartan’s their second straight loss. Baldwin Wallace scored first, late in the first half when they were able to deflect in a corner kick. Rachel Bourque scored her first goal of the season off an assist by Katie Chaplin at the beginning of the second half, drilling a strong shot past the goalkeeper. Baldwin Wallace however stole away the game late, beating Smith in the 80th minute. The Spartans will play again and look to get back on track on Saturday, Sept. 21 at Kenyon College at 1:00 p.m.