Last week, the women’s soccer team dropped a non-conference match to the University of Wisconsin-Stout Blue Devils 3-0, but picked up two huge conference wins against the Knox College Prairie Fire (5-3) and the Lake Forest College Foresters (2-0). This improves the Vikings’ overall record to 6-9-1 with a 4-3-1 record in Midwest Conference play.
Taking a break from grueling conference play, the Vikings played the Blue Devils tough, as the score remained 1-0 for the majority of the game. In the final few minutes of the second half, the Vikings got more aggressive on the attack to try to even the game. Unfortunately, that left their defense exposed, and the Blue Devils were able to score two goals in the final two minutes to clinch the victory.
The Vikings then returned to MWC play and hosted Knox. Senior forward Mallory Koula scored three times in the first half, and freshman midfielder Jennifer Angeli contributed a goal to give Lawrence a 4-1 lead at halftime. Koula’s first goal was assisted by Angeli and sophomore defender Natalie Wolf. The other goals went unassisted.
Just 37 seconds into the second half, freshman midfielder Sarah Tiano scored her first collegiate goal widening the Vikings’ lead 5-1. The Prairie Fire battled back with two goals, but they were unable to get any closer as Lawrence picked up the victory.
The next day the Vikings hosted Lake Forest. Once again it was Koula doing the damage for the Vikings as she scored twice in the first half. Her first goal was assisted by Angeli and freshman midfielder Keli Muchowski. Her second goal was assisted again by Muchowski. The 2-0 score held for the rest of the game as junior goalkeeper Cassie Burke contributed four saves to earn the shutout and the victory.
When asked what went well this past weekend, sophomore defender Amanda Ollerer commented, “We were very successful at changing the point of attack. Our outside mids were key. We won a majority of 50/50 balls and kept possession throughout the game. Everyone contributed to our wins.”
With only one conference game left in the season, the Vikings find themselves in a three-way tie for fourth place in the conference standings. The top four teams at the end of the season move on to the postseason tournament, with the winner qualifying for the NCAA National Tournament.
In order for Lawrence to make the playoffs, they need to beat Illinois College on October 30 and have Ripon lose or tie their final game against the Grinnell College Pioneers. If Lawrence ties against Illinois College, they need Ripon to lose. Since Lawrence lost the regular season meeting against Ripon, Ripon wins the tiebreaker if Lawrence and Ripon end up with the same record.
Both teams currently have the same MWC record of 4-3-1. Even though the Monmouth College Fighting Scots also have a MWC record of 4-3-1, the Vikings win a tiebreaker with them because Lawrence defeated Monmouth during their regular season match.
Junior midfielder Ellie Galvin said, “The Ripon/Grinnell game is out of our control. We have to make the long trip to Illinois College and beat them on their home field. All we can do is focus on preparing for IC and hope some good luck comes our way. As a team, we know where our heads should be.”