Spartans close out season with tough away loss to Yellow Jackets

Taylor Fletcher, Staff Reporter

Case Western Reserve University’s women’s soccer team saw their season come to a close Saturday night in a 2-0 loss against a tough University of Rochester team. For the year, the team’s conference record was 1-5-1 and their overall record was 8-7-3.

Though the game had no postseason implications, the Spartans wanted to end the season on a high note. They hoped to build momentum heading into next year and also tried to up their win total in conference from last year.

The match started with the Spartans as the aggressors, trying early to put their stamp on the game. The midfield was dominant early in the game, winning the ball and dictating the possession early on in the game.

In the 20th minute, the Spartans were able to withstand a Yellow Jackets’ counter attack and were able to start one of their own. The Spartans were able to find the feet of senior forward Caitlyn McGillis who combined for a great 1-2 with fellow senior midfielder Christine Straka whose ensuing shot ricocheted off the crossbar.

The match at halftime was scoreless. The Spartans proceeded to turn on the pressure offensively in the second half. They upped their shots from four in the first half to 12 to finish the game. However, the Rochester backline was able to handle CWRU pressure and able to score some goals against the run of play.

In the 54th minute, they were unable to stop Rochester from getting on the board by a set piece goal. Goalkeeper Abbey Smith was boxed in by two opposing players on a corner kick, which left her unable to go up to snag the ball off a Kim Stagg header. Smith went up to the referee after the play to plead her cause but, unfortunately, he would not listen to her complaints.

The second goal was a tough play for Smith as well. On a long ball over the top, Smith misjudged a bounce and the ball sailed over her head into the net.

A very atypical and uncharacteristic play for the net minder. Smith had three saves on the match which brought her season total up to 76 saves on the season. In just two years at CWRU, Smith had 13 shutouts and 176 careers saves.

Despite dictating the offensive pressure throughout the game, the Spartans were unable to score for the fifth straight game. Sophomore midfielder Alexa Williams led both teams with four shots in the game.

The Spartans were unable to reach the goals they set to start the season but they did give themselves a good base and foundation to build off for the future. This season is the fifth season in six years in which the Spartans have had a winning record.