Women’s soccer bounces back to take home opener

The Case Western Reserve University women’s soccer team bounced back from their loss in the season opener against Kenyon College on Aug. 31 by defeating cross-town rivals John Carroll University at home 3-0 on Sunday, Sept. 2.

The match against Kenyon started off slow as the teams tried to get back into their rhythm after the offseason.

Kenyon found their rhythm before CWRU, with second-year forward Samantha Hayes scoring an unassisted goal at the 22 minute mark. Hayes scored another goal at the 58 minute mark with an assist from fourth-year defensive back Meredith Rogers.  

The Spartans were able to make a push late in the match as first-year forward Christina Hickson scored a goal at the 86 minute mark.

Even with the 12-10 advantage on shots and the 6-5 advantage on corners, CWRU was unable to make up the one goal difference and ultimately lost the contest.

After Friday’s loss, Head Coach Tiffany Crooks said that the team made no adjustments in-game.  

“We watched the film, focused on a few breakdowns and a few things we wanted to find ways to do more often. Every game presents different problems to solve…. Sunday’s problems we did a better job solving than we did on Friday,” she said.  

As Crooks alluded to, the Spartans bounced back with determination.

Second-year midfielder Lizzy Barna kicked off the scoring with an early goal at the 18 minute mark from a pass by third-year forward Kimberly Chen. At the 51 minute mark, Chen jumped into the action also, scoring off of a shot by fourth-year forward Melanie Kukura which was saved. Hickson would add the finishing touches and another goal to her college resume, as she scored at the 56 minute mark from a Kukura assist.

John Carroll was unable to score because of the defense of second-year goalkeeper Lauren Metz and third-year goalkeeper Lauren Unterborn, who combined for seven saves and the shutout.

“The second half of John Carroll we played with a winner’s mentality,” Crooks said. “That is what we need to have every day, including practice and games.”  

The Spartans finished the week with a win and a loss, bringing their overall record to 1-1.

The team will travel to Ada, Ohio to face No. 8 Ohio Northern University on Saturday, Sept. 8 and will return back to action on DiSanto Field on Wednesday, Sept. 12 at 7:30 p.m. against Hiram College.

“We’ll be watching film on [Ohio Northern and Hiram] to get a sense of what we can expect in terms of shape and players to watch,” Crooks said. “But, our main focus will be on us and the identity we’re trying to develop in ourselves. We won’t change what we’re doing but we’ll raise the bar some on ourselves.”