The women’s soccer team battled tough last week in their first two Midwest Conference games of the season, but fell short with a 4-2 loss to the St. Norbert College Green Knights Sept. 21 and a 3-2 loss to the Grinnell College Pioneers Sept. 24. The losses make the Vikings’ overall record now 2-7.
The Vikings created a theme of falling behind early both games. Against St. Norbert, the Green Knights struck early with a goal five minutes into the game. That would remain the lone goal for the first half. In the second half, senior forward Mallory Koula scored on a pass from senior midfielder Cadence Peckham in the 55th minute to tie it up.
After quick responses by St. Norbert with two goals of their own within the next few minutes, the Vikings answered right back with another goal from Koula off a pass from junior midfielder Ellie Galvin in the 79th minute. With a comeback in the making, the Green Knights were able to distance themselves and end the Vikings’ hopes with a goal in the 83rd minute, sealing the victory.
It was the same script for the Vikings against Grinnell. After falling behind early after a goal from Grinnell eight minutes into the game, Peckham tied it up with her first goal of the season in the 17th minute with a beautiful shot over the goalkeeper.
Grinnell would tie it up ten minutes later and the score at halftime had the Vikings trailing 2-1. The Vikings put forth another comeback effort as freshman midfielder Jennifer Angeli scored her first collegiate goal a few minutes into the second half. The score would remain tied until the Pioneers sealed the deal with a goal with five minutes remaining in the game.
After two slow starts, the Vikings showed the ability to fight back and not let the early goals take them out of the game. “Our main problem in both of these games was finishing,” said sophomore midfielder Anita Babbitt. “We played well together and even had more shots than both teams, but we just couldn’t finish. Also, we need to start our games out with more energy and have high intensity from start to finish, and that includes communication.”
Although the Vikings start the year 0-2 in conference, Galvin is not discouraged and still has high hopes for the season. “It was tough losing those games, but we have a big test coming up against Carroll. It will be our toughest game of the year. Our past games against them have always been intense and this year should be no different. We know we can play with them and if we play up to our ability, we can definitely beat them.” Babbitt is also as confident Galvin, saying, “We just need to do these things and we could take the conference again.”
The Vikings are on the road the next few games, traveling to Carroll University Oct. 1, Ripon College on Oct. 5, and Monmouth College on Oct. 8.