By Kayla Nguyen
It was a busy week for the University of Dallas women’s soccer team as it played three of the hardest matches on its schedule this week.
“I am extremely proud of what this program accomplished in the last seven days,” head coach Angelina Pane said. “We fought hard in all three matches and were able to progress each game. Not one player on this team dropped their heads to adversity.”
Last Tuesday evening, the team had a rough 5-0 loss to the University of Texas at Tyler, giving up three goals in the first half and two in the second half. The team ended the game with a total of nine shots on UT-Tyler and a total of 12 saves. Players from all field positions took shots, including seniors Nicole Johnson and Kayla Nguyen, as well as freshmen Alice Nelson, Sydney Stirling, Taylor Ray and Kayla Glenn.
On Friday, the team had a well-deserved win in its first conference game, beating Southwestern University 1-0 in overtime. Junior Abi Weisbrod scored in regulation play while battling SU defenders in the 18-yard box, but the referee discounted the goal, claiming that Weisbrod had fouled an SU defender in the process. This kept the scoreboard at 0-0 until overtime. And finally, at 95:06, Johnson scored the game-winning goal off Weisbrod’s assist.
Freshman goalkeeper Elena Naccari, who started her first game of the season against UT-Tyler, took a severe kick to the jaw on Friday as SU forward Sarah Bevins attempted to run through her after Naccari made a save. Naccari was able to finish out the match and was back in full force for Sunday’s game.
“It hurt, but I just thought that as long as it wasn’t a goal, it didn’t matter,” Naccari said with a laugh.
On Sunday, the Crusaders lost 3-0 to Trinity University, the No. 3-ranked NCAA Division III team in the country. Despite 20 shots from the Trinity Tigers, the UD women’s team held the score to 1-0 during the first half. They gave up two additional goals in the second half, the second of those off a penalty kick. The Crusaders ended the game with three shots by Johnson and one shot by junior Nicolette Perez.
The team is currently 1-1 in conference play and has a 3-5-0 record. The Crusaders play their third conference game at Centenary College of Louisiana this Friday, Sept. 26.
“To see a group of 27 girls grow together and battle for one another every day has been very rewarding,” Pane said. “I am proud to say the least and cannot wait for their continued success.”