The Case Western Reserve University women’s soccer team faced its first test on the road against No. 8 Ohio Northern University (ONU) and fell in a tightly contested match, 1-0, on Saturday, Sept. 8.
The Spartans came out of the gates with a tough defensive mindset. They shut down a strong ONU effort that tallied eight first-half shots. This defensive stand was mainly due to the presence of second-year goalkeeper Lauren Metz, who had a total of five saves during the match and lowered her goals-against average of 1.06 goals per game.
Head Coach Tiffany Crooks was proud of Metz and the other goalies.
“[Metz] is growing each game and gaining valuable experience,” she said. “Our other two keepers, [third-year] Lauren Unterborn and [first-year] Jenna Ruccolo have been training very, very well, so I’m excited about all three.”
After 45 minutes, the teams were tied at zero heading into the second half. However, the Spartans’ defense and goalkeeping would eventually crack.
In the 68th minute, Metz saved a shot on the goal by fourth-year forward McKenna Walsh; but the resulting rebound was collected by third-year midfielder Haley Moses, who scored the go-ahead goal.
Even with the Spartans’ seven shots, two each by third-year midfielder Ana Petropoulos and fourth-year midfielder Melanie Kukura, the team was unable to score an equalizing goal.
Crooks lauded her team’s effort against the nationally ranked opponent.
“We showed we can compete against some of the best teams in the country,” she said. “It made me very optimistic about the [University Athletic Association] schedule.
Following a 3-0 win at home over Hiram College, the team ended the week with a win and a loss, bringing their overall season record to 2-2.
The Spartans will be back in action at DiSanto Field on Saturday, Sept. 15 against Chatham University at 1:30 p.m.
“It’s really a typical turnaround,” Crooks said. “We’re looking forward to playing our next two games at home. We don’t mind the travel, but it’s always fun to play at home in our environment.”