The Lawrence Women’s soccer team finished their season on Saturday, Oct. 29 with a 2-2 draw away to the Monmouth College Scots. This unfortunate result meant that the team fell to a 3-4-1 record in Midwest Conference play, leaving them one point shy of fourth place Cornell College and out of the Midwest Conference women’s soccer tournament. Going into the match, the team knew a win would be enough to see them jump the Rams, as Beloit beat Cornell to leave Lawrence just two points behind with one game to play. A win would mean three points and a tournament berth.
The match got off to a rough start for the Vikings however, with Ssenior goalkeeper Sarah Yochem unfortunately having to be substituted due to a shoulder injury just 15 minutes into the final game of her career, to be replaced by Ella Lysne. However, the team would take a 2-0 lead at half time with a goal by Paige Ferrence on an assist from Erica Grube, followed by a Natalie Linebarger goal at the 37- minute mark. Lawrence dominated much of the first half, outshooting the Scots 9-2 and only requiring two total saves from their goalkeepers to Monmouth’s four.
But the wheels began to fall off early in the second half for the hopeful Vikings. They conceded the first of two goals in the 53rd minute after a 35-yard shot from a Monmouth winger hit the crossbar before dropping to Natalya Main at the back post, who tucked it away. The goal clearly shocked the Vikings, as they gave away a free kick less than a minute later resulting in a Jessica Smith yellow card for the Vikings. Kaylee Doebert then dispatched from around 30 yards with a well-placed shot to the top corner to make the score two apiece.
This goal seemed to kickstart Lawrence after their mental lapse though, as for the last 35 minutes of the match Monmouth did not come within 40 yards of Lysne’s goal. Lawrence created chance after chance, with Natalie Linebarger the driving force behind the Viking attack. She put a number of crosses into the box down the left flank, as did Grube down the right. Paige Ferrence went close with a header, as did Sophia Morin on a rebound from Monmouth goalkeeper Anna Caster. Caster stood on her head throughout the remainder of the game to keep the Vikings at bay. Linebarger ended the match with six total shots, all of which were on target, only to end up with a singular goal as a result of the goalkeeper’s heroics. In total, the Vikings managed 12 shots in the second half, but failed to find the net despite dominating possession and smothering any Monmouth counter attacks even after sending all but two players forward into the attack in the final minutes. The lack of numbers in defense did cost Smith, however, as she was forced to make a tactical foul with seven minutes remaining, which led to a second yellow card and a sending off for the defender.
The final seven minutes of the match still saw the ball live in the Monmouth goal box, but to no avail. The Scots’ defense stood firm, and the match ended 2-2. Despite the disappointment, I would like to congratulate the team’s seniors — Charlotte Linebarger, Sarah Yochem, and Sam Tolu — on their great careers, and I encourage all to go and support the team in their endeavors once again next fall.