After seven consecutive losses, the University of Dallas Women’s Soccer team emerged from Friday’s match against Centenary College of Louisiana with a 3-0 victory. Since their return from California at the beginning of September, the Lady Crusaders have struggled to create and convert opportunities in the attacking third, but if this weekend is any indication, a change is coming.
Friday’s match was scoreless at the half, but UD had racked up seven shots to Centenary’s one, and it was only a matter of time before those shots turned into goals. Sophomore midfielder Alice Nelson was the first to break through, with a goal in the 58th minute. “It was a special goal because we have been working on creating more scoring opportunities for each other and it is great that we are beginning to implement this practice into the games,” Nelson said.
Mason Cosgrove, a freshman forward, followed Nelson’s goal less than 10 minutes later with a shot into the far right side of the net. Finally, a corner kick from sophomore midfielder Kayla Glenn found the head of freshman forward, Samantha Deitschel, who lofted it over the goalie’s hands and into the back of the net in the 81st minute.
The Crusaders came into Sunday’s match against Austin College riding a new wave of energy and confidence. They played a tight first half against their rivals, resulting in zeroes across the board and a low shot count of three to Austin’s two at the half. Senior forward/midfielder Mariah Fairbanks was active up and down the right side, while freshman midfielder Kathryn Zepeda created opportunities in the middle.
UD started off a faster-paced and more physical second half with senior midfielder and team captain Abigale Weisbrod driving up the left wing. Cosgrove and Deitschel took center stage as they worked tirelessly to convert their opportunities up top. Still, the Austin Kangaroos held the Crusaders scoreless until a corner kick from Zepeda in the 78th minute curved in unassisted, putting Dallas up 1-0.
The lead lasted briefly, however, as a foul in the box gave Austin College a penalty kick that tied the game 1-1 in the 85th minute. The match then carried into two overtime periods, and still ended in a draw despite two corner kicks from Nelson, a couple of shots on goal from sophomore defender Alexa Acquista and junior midfielder and team captain Cascade Mayer, and a last minute free kick for Austin from just outside the 18-yard line that had spectators on their feet in apprehension.
“The team really came together and lit a fire,” Weisbrod said. “Every player played with passion and heart this weekend. Moving forward, we hope to continue to execute goal scoring opportunities and take this first part of [the] season as a learning experience.”
The Lady Crusaders improved to 2-9-1 overall and 1-4-1 in conference play. This coming weekend’s games are on the road against Trinity University and Schreiner University.