Rookie mistakes

Women’s soccer loses two nail-biters


Nick Natko

Defensman Melanie Cruicitt battles an opponent; following an attacker, defenseman Neha Cheemalavagu pursues the ball in order to stop a goal.

We learn from the mistakes we make. However minute, they have an effect. The Case Western Reserve University women’s soccer team dealt with those minor errors last week as they lost two heartbreaking matches at Baldwin Wallace University on Wednesday, Sept. 13 and Ohio Northern University on Saturday, Sept. 16.

In the first match, the team was holding their opponent scoreless on the road with some great defensive effort by Spartans second-year goalie Lauren Unterborn, who recorded a pair of saves, and the defensive backs who stifled Baldwin Wallace’s attack. Offensively, the team bombarded the opposing goal, outshooting the Yellow Jackets at a mark of 13-12. There were also many hard earned scoring opportunities as seen by the eight corner kicks the team registered.

Regardless of the Spartans’ valiant effort, Baldwin Wallace found a way to break through in the 80th minute when first-year midfielder Kayla Webb’s header went in off of first-year midfielder Kenna Stones’ free kick. That was Webb’s first goal of the season and the game’s deciding goal as the Spartans fell 1-0.

The team moved on from the loss and came in on Saturday ready to play against Ohio Northern. They struggled to get going as Ohio Northern was able to quickly get on the board in the 18th minute with first-year defensive back Sydney Leshnak’s free kick from the “o” in DiSanto.

Facing a deficit, the team still continued on, displaying a ferocious attack spearheaded by fourth-year midfielder Elle Zadina and first-year defensive back Emily Hauser, who both registered four shots. Many scoring opportunities arose as the team had a 14-12 advantage in shots, but none of them ended up being the equalizer. The Spartans ended up falling 1-0.  

CWRU finished the week with two losses, dropping their record to 3-3-0.

Even with the setbacks the team faced this week, Head Coach Tiffany Crooks lauded the performance of her team, saying, “We have very talented players capable of doing great things in critical moments.”

She continued by adding that “the freshmen class has done a great job…trying to adjust to being college students and trying to find their role on a varsity team competing against some of the best teams in the country.”

Fourth-year defensive back Neha Cheemalavagu says that the team is ready to go in with the drive “to capitalize on the chances that got away from [them] last week” as the Spartans play host to Washington & Jefferson College on Sunday, Sept. 24 at 3 p.m., following their match at Hiram College on Sept. 21, with results not available at press time.

“This week is great since…we’ll have a little more time at the front of this week to teach and work on our style as opposed to simply preparing for the team we’re about to play or recovering from a game,” said Crooks. “I’m excited for the preparation of this week.”