Women’s soccer misses out on MWC playoffs

Two losses this weekend put women’s soccer out of contention for a playoff berth.

On Saturday, Oct. 26 the Vikings hosted the Grinnell College Pioneers at Whiting Field West in front of 241 faithful fans, who showed up despite the chilly wind. Grinnell, still in the hunt of an MWC title, came out eager in this match. With a 5-2-1 MWC record coming into the game, and just above Lawrence in the standings, the Pioneers knew it would take an enormous effort to capsize the Vikings.

Lawrence had several opportunities early-on, determined to take another step towards the postseason. However, it was Grinnell who struck first through sophomore midfielder Maddie Gray, 13:47 into the first half. But Lawrence chipped away at the Pioneers, getting closer and closer to a goal. Although sophomore defender Genna Matt had a couple of close shots in the game, Grinnell was able to hold off for the 1-0 win. Despite outshooting the Vikings 17-7, Grinnell was lucky to pull off the win, as the Vikings made a strong effort to produce a different result.

On Sunday, Oct. 27, a fatigued Lawrence team took on Cornell College in frigid 40-degree weather. The effort Lawrence had put in a day earlier was evident, as many of the players were without question fatigued. A Ram team coming in with a 2-4-1 MWC record would not typically put up a fight like they did in this one, if Lawrence was fully rested and healthy. Instead, a “wake up call” just 58 seconds into this one put Cornell ahead 1-0 as a result of Kendra Wisely’s goal.

Junior Dani Glass had an outstanding effort in this match with 12 saves on Cornell’s 20 shots. Unfortunately, the Rams scored twice more in the game before the final buzzer. In the 26th minute, high-scoring freshman Bethany Stivers potted one. Finally, Wisely scored once again in the 79th minute to make the final score 3-0 in the visitor’s advantage. Late in the game, Glass was subbed out after suffering an injury due to a nasty collision with an opposing player.

With one game remaining in the season, Lawrence will not be making the MWC tournament for the second year in a row. Although they did not produce as hoped this year, there were many positive standouts and new players to keep an eye on for seasons to come. Freshman Casey Merkle has had a noteworthy season thus far. Showing great leadership and determination all over the field, she will be a player to watch for in coming seasons. Most notably, junior Keli Muchowski’s senior year will be highly anticipated, as she has shined with her team leading nine goals and one assist so far this season.