Up and down week proves Spartan’s mettle

Women’s soccer rebound from streak breaking loss with win

Taylor Fletcher, Staff Reporter

In the past three games, the Case Western Reserve University women’s soccer team experience typifies what draws so many people to competition and sport. CWRU was able to start with a 1-0 win on Thursday in their final home non-conference game against Kenyon. However, their seven-game unbeaten streak ended with a 1-0 loss against conference opponent Brandeis this past Sunday. The Spartans came out of the loss with renewed focus and were able to find a win their final non-conference game of the season with a 2-0 decision against Wooster on Tuesday night.

The Spartans started off the three game swing with a strong Thursday night performance against Kenyon, finding the goal early against the opposing Ladies defense. In the third minute, freshman midfielder Madeleine Harris received a pass, pulled a nifty move around a defender and placed a beautiful shot to the upper left corner. It was Harris’ first career goal and held up as the difference in the match.

The Spartans held a 15-5 advantage in shots. Kenyon College only managed one shot, which senior goalkeeper Abbey Smith easily saved, and never seriously threatened for the entirety of the game. Smith and the defense were stout and Smith earned her sixth shutout of the season.

The Spartans then took their unbeaten streak on the road against conference power Brandeis for the conference opener. The Spartans were unable to find a rhythm against the high-pressure oriented Judges and gave up the uncharacteristically early goal off a corner kick. The top scorer for the season from Brandeis was able to wriggle free from her marker to head the ball into the upper right corner right over the head of a CWRU defender. The Judges’ early goal enabled them to keep possession and make the Spartans chase the ball for the rest of the match.

The goal was the first goal Smith had allowed since the game against Centre College on Sept. 14.

Brandeis held a 12-4 shot advantage and attempted nine corners on the match.

On this past Tuesday night, the women’s team was able to get back on track in the final non-conference slate of the year. The Spartans were again led by freshman Harris who tallied three points in the game. Harris scored in the 25th minute after some miscommunication in the Wooster defense deflected a shot right to the wide open Harris. She settled the ball and calmly placed it into the inside right post.

Harris was instrumental in the second goal of the game as well. In the 78th minute, Harris found sophomore midfielder Amy Lindberg in the middle of the field, who rocketed a shot into the upper left corner to finish off the Fighting Scots of Wooster. The Spartans held an 11-7 shot advantage on the match and each team attempted four corner kicks.

Smith and the defense were able to put the previous match game behind them and worked together to produce yet another stellar shutout performance, which brought the season’s total up to seven on the year. The team’s record now is 7-2-2 and are now only one win away from matching 2013 season’s win total.

The CWRU women’s soccer team is back in action this Saturday Oct. 11 at 1:30 p.m. for the first home conference game of the season against New York University. In the latest NSCAA regional ranking, the Spartans are ranked third in the Great Lakes region while the NYU Violets are ranked fifth in the East Region.

The team will be looking for student support for this important weekend match, which will be the team’s annual Kicks for a Cause program, as well as the team’s 30-year anniversary celebration.