Lawrence’s women’s soccer team continued their season with a strong showing against Macalester College on Sunday, Sep. 3, though they ultimately came up short by a final score of 0-2. This game was the first of a Minnesota-based double header for the Vikings as they open their season with some tough away non-conference matches.
Coming off of a 0-3 loss away to Concordia University (WI) two days prior, coach Joe Sagar and his team were looking to bounce back, but were unfortunately unable to do so. However, there were plenty of positive takeaways from the match. The Vikings showed real heart and resolve as they pressed for a goal in the second half despite going behind 0-2 early on to strikes from Macalester players Michaely Evans and Mia Brisbin in the 6th and 17th minutes, respectively. Goalkeeper Sarah Yochem was fortunate not to receive a red card before the second goal after handling the ball outside of the goal box, but remained on the field after the referee played advantage and Evans slotted home.
However, this quick start to the match was not at all representative of the balance of the match. Macalester was definitely the more ball-dominant side and maintained a major share of possession, but Lawrence remained stout in defense and shut down many dangerous Macalester attacks. They looked to play on the counterattack and use the pace of several attacking players, including Madi Jones and Erica Grube, and they created several chances. Set pieces also played a key role in the Lawrence attack, as they looked to utilize the height of strikers Kaitlyn Khazen and Cambrie Rickard. Junior Emma Vasconez and sophomore Natalie Linebarger both put several tantalizing crosses into the box off of corner kicks, and Sophia Morin’s eye-catching flip throw (I do recommend getting to a match to see it in action) put the Macalester defense under a lot of pressure. Unfortunately, all of these chances went begging on the day, but the fact that the team was able to create such a great volume of chances bodes well for the season moving forward.
In defense, despite the early struggles, the Lawrence back line looked very strong. Cait Rodko looks to be a key player for the Vikings, as she had the opposing strikers locked down for the majority of the game. Yochem overcame some minor early struggles to have a great game, coming off her line to sweep up on several occasions to snuff out Macalester counterattacks as Lawrence threw more and more players forward in search of a goal. Transfer sophomore Jordan Lanson got her first start of the season, and she looks to be adjusting to life under coach Sagar nicely, as she got up and down the left flank all game long.
The Vikings open conference play against Lake Forest this Saturday, September 24.