Soccer team headstrong despite two losses

The Wildcats against St. Cloud State and Minnesota Duluth this last week

Evelyn Knox, Staff Writer

The Wayne State soccer team drops its overall record to 3-8-5 after going 0-2 this past weekend while facing NSIC conference opponents St. Cloud State and Minnesota Duluth in home contests at the WSC Soccer Pitch. The Wildcats are now 2-7-4 in conference play.

Wayne State opened up the weekend of NSIC conference play by falling 3-1 to St. Cloud State on Friday afternoon. St. Cloud scored 14 minutes into the game, taking an early 1-0 lead. At the 30-minute mark, Alexis Strothers scored on a header off a corner kick from Lauren Fleming to tie the game 1-1. The Huskies took the lead before the half 2-1. In the 79th minute of the contest, St. Cloud scored from the left side of the box to win the game 3-1 over WSC.

Strothers led the ’Cats offensively, scoring her first goal of the season. Sophomore goalkeeper Rachel Grisham contributed four saves in the match for the Wildcats. Sophomore Christina Stasi and freshman
Rylie Wehner added two shots, each for Wayne State.

“Unfortunately, we did not get the results that we wanted this past weekend, however, we need to leave those games in the past and continue to work hard in practice this week in order to get back on track,” Wehner said. “We need to stay focused and finish out the season strong.”

In the second game of the weekend, Wayne state faced the University of Minnesota-Duluth, in an overtime loss falling 5-4 Sunday afternoon. UMD took an early 1-0 lead just two minutes into the contest. Sophomore Sophie Ketchmark and Junior Christina Stasi each countered back, scoring goals giving WSC a 2-1 advantage. Carleigh Wilson scored her first goal of the season with an assist by Natalie Rech to give the ’Cats a 3-2 lead going into the intermission.

“On a positive note, we scored a lot of goals by people who will be returning next year,” senior Hannah Knight said. “We had a great attitude mentally going into Sunday’s game and that really showed on the field, however, not the score.”

The Wildcats then extended the lead with a second-half goal from junior Alexis Strothers with an assist from Rachel Fraser. UMD made a late rally, scoring two goals to send the contest into overtime tied at 4-4. UMD made the comeback over the Wildcats with a goal in overtime at the 5-minute mark to win 5-4.

Natalie Rech had a team-high three shots, while Hannah Knight and Rachel Fraser contributed assists on goals for Wayne State. Sophomore goalkeeper Rachel Grisham accounted for five saves in the overtime loss.

“We just need to keep our heads up and plan for the next games ahead. This group has a lot of fight and heart and we are going to finish this season out strong,” Knight said.

Wayne State will host Southwest Minnesota State Friday at 3 p.m. in the final home game of the season at the WSC Soccer Pitch.