The Case Western Reserve University women’s soccer team fought crosstown rival John Carroll University to a 0-0 standstill on Friday night. The Spartans dominated play on both ends but unfortunately were just unable to finish their multitude of chances. The result extends their unbeaten streak to six games and moves their overall record to 5-1-2.
Both teams looked evenly matched to start the game, but by the end of the first half, the Spartans clearly had the better portion of legitimate chances to score. By the second half, the Spartans barraged the Blue Streak’s back line and goalkeeper. The Spartan’s aggressive play lead to a 26-9 advantage on shots, 12 of which were on frame. Senior forwards Caitlyn Mcgillis, Christine Straka and Jessie Sabers accounted for 15 of CWRU’s 26 shots. Mcgillis paced the squad with a total of nine shots.
The Spartans’ midfield showed their dominance by bullying and pressuring the opposing team’s midfielders to cough up the ball. Their aggression in the midfield allowed the Spartans to create chance after chance. JCU was content to sit back and try to counter-attack against the overwhelming CWRU attack. However, JCU’s game plan made it hard for the Blue Streaks to alleviate pressure and forced them to concede all three corner kicks on the night.
The defense continued their great string of performances and limited the opposition to nine shots with only three on goal. Abbey Smith made three saves in the match and recorded her third consecutive shutout of the season. Smith and the defense have only allowed four goals in eight games on the season. With her 10th shutout, Smith moved to fourth place all time on the school’s shutout list.
The Spartans returned home for a match on Thursday at DiSanto field against Kenyon College. The game occurred after the Observer went to print. For a recap of the game visit observer.case.edu
The Spartans will open UAA conference play tomorrow, Saturday Oct. 5 against nationally ranked Brandeis University. The UAA conference is amongst the strongest soccer conferences in the nation and will prove to be an extremely difficult challenge for the Spartans.
Currently, five of the eight teams in the UAA are nationally ranked. The Washington University at St. Louis Bears are the number two team right now, immediately followed by the Carnegie Mellon Tartans at number three. Emory University Eagles fly in at the number six team and the University of Chicago Maroons stand at 13.
Lastly, Brandeis is the 24th best team right now, proving that winning the UAA will be an uphill challenge for any of the eight teams in the conference. Washington, Carnegie Mellon and Emory all have yet to lose a game with Emory tying two of their matchups and Washington one of their games. The Spartans’ shutouts and play this season point to the ability to make a run for the top of the UAA but the challenge will be large.
That run begins Saturday.