By Tina Schrage
The Lawrence University Women’s Soccer team struggled this past week, falling to conference opponents St. Norbert College and Beloit College. St. Norbert defeated Lawrence 6-1, while Beloit defeated Lawrence 3-0. Both St. Norbert and Beloit out-shot Lawrence 19-8 and 17-10, respectively. Lawrence’s record is currently 6-7-0 overall and 1-4-0 in the Midwest Conference.
Junior forward Casey Merkle, continued to make her presence known in both games, shooting the most of any Lady Vike in both of the games combined. Merkle scored Lawrence’s lone goal against St. Norbert College in the second minute on a breakaway with the help of freshman defender Mari Hubanks.
“We could have done a lot better,” freshman defender Christine Kerkman said. “I think we lost those games mostly because our team chemistry has been off. We just haven’t been playing our game plan.” The game plan according to Kerkman is dependent on the forwards and midfielders not forcing the ball into pressure and taking high quality shots.
“Usually we don’t take that many shots because we are worried about building up to take the shot,” Kerkman said. “Once we have the opportunity, we either take it and the shot is way off, or we just don’t use the opportunity.” The women’s soccer team takes chances against the opposing team’s goal keeper to test them.
Senior captain Patsy Kealey fought hard in the goal, making four saves and allowing six against St. Norbert College and making six saves and only allowing two against Beloit College. Freshman Carolyn Ford substituted in for Kealey with 18 minutes left of the game between Lawrence and Beloit and made one save. She allowed one goal from Beloit’s Alexis Miller on a free kick.
“We communicate really well with the goalie,” Kerkman said. “We help the forwards and the midfielders who are too far away from Patsy and are unable to hear her. We are the distributors of information during a game.” In order to make sure everyone is making the appropriate transitions during the game, Patsy tells everyone where to go in order to play efficiently.
The women’s soccer team is aiming to make it into the top four for conference, but the task will be a difficult one and the team will have to play the cards just right to get into the top four. “The only way we can get to the top four is to win every game from now until the end of the season,” Kerkman adds. “We want to make our goal a reality.”
The Lawrence University’s women’s soccer team’s next game is against Grinnell. Despite several injuries, the Lady Vikes are still fighting hard to make the most of the season and capture a few, if not all, wins in the remainder of the season.