Spartans succumb to Violets


Harsha Chandupatla/Observer

Women’s soccer team cheers at start of overtime against New York University.

Taylor Fletcher, Staff Reporter

Case Western Reserve University women’s soccer team lost a heartbreaker in double OT this Saturday Oct. 11 against New York University (NYU) violets by the score of 1-0. The result drops the Spartans record to 0-2 in conference play and 7-3-2 overall record.

As been the part of the storyline of the season, the Spartans were just unable to find the final pass in the offensive third of the field. The squad values a tough defense and it prides itself with limiting opponents to only one goal. In fact, only in one game this season has the team allowed more than one opposing goal. On the flip side, the team has only scored more than one goal in three games. As a result, the Spartans usually only need one goal to make the difference. However, this style of play allows the opposing squad to stick around in matches and gain confidence that if they can grab a goal then they will be able to hang on for the win.

The match was tightly contested the entire way. The Spartans were able to withstand early pressure from the Violets frontline. In the second minute of the match, The Violets had an early shot that senior goalkeeper Abbey Smith was able to push wide and deflect off the goalpost.

CWRU were able to recover from the early pressure from NYU with some breakout play of their own, which created an opportunity to score. The Spartans had their first big opportunity in the 21st minute when senior forward Caitlyn McGillis was able to beat her defender and whip an early cross into fellow senior forward Jessie Sabers who headed it on frame. But her effort was saved by the NYU goalkeeper.

The Violets edged the Spartans with a 10-8 shot advantage and also they had a 4-1 advantage on corner kicks. The Spartans held off the advances from the Violets through tough defending from the backline forward. The team was just unable to string enough passes together to help break the pressure from the NYU squad.

The only goal of the match was an unfortunate miscommunication with the Spartan defense. After Smith was able to smother another attack late in the second overtime period, the game looked as though it would end in a scoreless tie. Smith proceeded to punt the ball out of her box, but the ball dropped to a NYU player, who passed the ball forward off a first-time volley. The perfectly weighted pass split the Spartans defense, springing NYU’s forward into the attack and a one-on-one opportunity with Smith. Smith valiantly tried to cut off the forward’s angle and make the save, but the opposing forward fired a perfect shot past her fingertips into side of the net. It was a rather unfortunate end for the Spartans to a hard-fought match.

The team looks to turn its attention to this weekend for the squad’s two biggest tests of the season. The squad first matches up against the No. 2 ranked team in the country Washington University in St. Louis this Friday at home. They have a short turnaround with a match on Sunday at home against the No. 11 ranked team University of Chicago.

The Spartans are still in contention for post-season berth with a strong non-conference record and with a couple of strong results this weekend, they will hopefully bolster their case for a NCAA tournament bid. These two matches will also be the final two home games of the year. The team will be honoring the seniors on Friday night before the game for their four years of excellence on and off the field. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. Friday night and 1:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon.