The University of Dallas women’s soccer team traveled to two states this weekend to begin Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) play. First the team set out for Birmingham-Southern University in Birmingham, AL on Friday, Sept. 30 and then for Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, GA on Sunday, Oct. 2.
As the Lady Crusaders took the field at Birmingham-Southern Friday evening, the sun was setting, the temperature had dropped, and the field lights burned bright. At the start of the referee’s whistle, the two teams crashed like armies in the night. The two teams fought hard to maintain possession of the ball and battled for opportunities to score.
With 38 minutes still on the clock in the first half, Panthers’ forward Alicia Plotky checked low to receive the ball from her team. A center back for Dallas stepped up to mark the Panthers’ forward, leaving the Dallas’ back line disconnected and out of shape. Taking advantage of the opportunity, Plotky laid the ball into the defensive gap to BSU sophomore Amanda Babbin who then fired a shot past Dallas’ sophomore keeper Brigid Hasson. Dallas struggled to retaliate, but failed to score. The half ended with Dallas trailing 1-0.
The UD women’s soccer team worked hard to prevent any more goals scored by the Panthers, all the while looking to get even. However, the Lady Crusaders failed to capitalize on scoring chances. With only 15 seconds left on the clock, a ball played in from midfield allowed sophomore Claire Sexton to run through the BSU defense. The Panthers’ keeper came out to stop the ball but dropped down too late and missed. Sexton, with the goal wide open and a defender on her back, shot the ball but missed the net. The referee blew the final whistle signaling the end of the game. The Lady Crusaders suffered a tough 1-0 loss in their first SCAC game of the season.
The UD women’s soccer team hit the road for Atlanta, GA on Sunday where they took the field against the Oglethorpe University Petrels. With the previous loss still weighing on the team’s shoulders, Dallas had a difficult time possessing the ball and getting into the attack. As a result, an Oglethorpe forward was allowed to dribble up the center and through the Dallas defense to score. Once again, the Lady Crusaders found themselves trailing 1-0 at the half.
Luckily the second half was an entirely new half for the UD women’s soccer team. The team dug deep, established a sense of determination and, 25 minutes into the half, excellently executed a chance to score. Junior captain Missi Carpenter served a ball in off of a corner kick directly into the keeper’s box. Freshman defender Erin Jones seized the opportunity. A great run toward the front post allowed Jones to find the end of Carpenter’s serve in and Jones buried the ball into the back of the net.
With the game tied at 1-1, the Lady Crusaders received the spark of motivation they needed. Carpenter received her second assist of the game with yet another beautiful cross in. Her sister, freshman Michele Carpenter, made a back-post run in which she was then able to slam the ball into the goal in one touch, giving Dallas the lead with 10 minutes left on the clock. Excellent leadership and defensive effort from sophomore Meredith Noe gave strength to Dallas’ back line, leaving Dallas with the 2-1 victory over Oglethorpe University.
This week the Lady Crusaders will be at home to take on Sewanee.