Women’s soccer suffers tough draw vs. Beloit

Lawrence women’s soccer took home one point this weekend, after suffering tough luck in two rigorous matches.

The Vikings (2-2 MWC) had zero bounces go their way on Saturday as the Beloit College Buccaneers (0-5 MWC) managed to pick up one point in a tie.

The match saw some light rain throughout the first half, which gave way to blue skies from the middle of the second half until the end. The early weather conditions seemed to favor Lawrence, who without question dominated the first half. The Vikings took the lead 20 minutes in with a penalty kick securely placed by junior Keli Muchowski. It was her seventh such kick of the season.

Lawrence did not let up after their initial push and showcased offensive power largely unmatched by the opponent. In their efforts to strike back, Beloit sent in  Felicia Carlson, who troubled the Lawrence midfield and backs. Despite consistent domination from the visiting team, the Buccaneers were able to break through and pot one late in the first half by sophomore Enid Gongora.

“We were pissed at ourselves. Though we had been dominating the game, we felt we should have had the lead by a lot. We underestimated them a little bit,” said senior Anita Babbitt.

At halftime, encouraging words spread throughout the Lawrence lineup, and seemed to boost the team’s confidence. Freshman Casey Merkle came through just 24 seconds into the half, beating the Beloit keeper for her third goal of the season. Unfortunately, commanding the play superbly and outshooting the opponent 32-15, was not enough to pull off three points, as Beloit’s Felicia Carlson netted the equalizer in the 70th minute to end the game in a draw.

On Sunday, Lawrence hosted UW-La Crosse at Whiting Field West. Bitter after Saturday’s loss, Lawrence was eager to pick up a non-conference win. After back-and-fourth play with close chances both ways, the first half ended at an even 0-0. It wasn’t until the 76th minute that an unfortunate handball inside the box caused the scale to tip in La Crosse’s favor. Jamie Oschenwald capitalized on the penalty kick for the Eagles, pressuring the Vikings to answer with just 14 minutes left of play. While junior keeper Dani Glass played phenomenal soccer with eight saves, it wasn’t enough to change the course of the game.

“Coach told us we needed to come out and play our game and have fun. So that is what we tried to do. There was also some bad blood going into this one, considering they beat us last year in the 86th minute, 1-0,” commented Babbitt on the ill-fated loss.

Lawrence University’s current record is 3-7-1 (2-3-1 MWC) with five matches left to play in the season. Four of those five will be conference games, where the Vikings will have to pick up some wins if they are to have a shot at the Midwest Conference tournament. You can see your Lawrence University women’s soccer team next on Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 3:00pm, versus the Redhawks of Ripon College at Whiting Field West.