Women’s soccer plays against high-ranked opponents

September 28, 2017

On Wednesday, Sept. 20, the Thunder shut out Calvin College with a final score of 5-0. Wheaton’s defense only allowed Calvin three shots on goal throughout the duration of the game. Thunder senior starting goalie Kathryn McGregor successfully protected the net for the first half, and freshman goalie Madison Lee finished the shutout for Wheaton.

We as a team had been struggling to find the back of the net consistently for a few games but in the Calvin game we were able to break through that barrier,” freshman defender/midfielder Isabelle Oliver said.

Wheaton’s fives goals are credited to sophomore midfielder Bailey Wolf with the first goal of the game, then Oliver, junior midfielder Madison Peebles and junior midfielder Hannah Cockrum. Oliver scored the final goal of the game at the 89th minute.

After a hard-fought, double overtime battle, Wheaton ended up tying Washington University in St. Louis on Saturday, Sept. 23. Senior Morgan Whitman scored the first goal of the game around the 21st minute, but WashU tied the game three minutes later.

Early in the second half WashU scored again, and it seemed like they would win the game. With less than three minutes left in the game, Oliver tied the game. Neither team was able to score in either overtime period, and the game ended as a tie. WashU outshot Wheaton 27-to-eight during the game, but Wheaton played a cleaner game with only 15 fouls to WashU’s 20.

Oliver said that Coach Felske reminded them that “it does not have to be pretty, just effective.” For 110 minutes in uncommon September heat, Wheaton did just that against the then top-ranked team in the country.

Despite being unranked, the Wheaton women stuck with the current number-one ranked Division III team in the country in a tough 2-1 loss to the University of Chicago. Two minutes into the game, UChicago proved their ranking with an early goal. Wheaton did not score during the first half, and none of their three shots were on goal. Around the 51st minute, Oliver found the net and scored.

“They [UChicago] are a team that has given up few goals, consistently been able to put many [goals] away during games and win games by large differences,” Oliver said. “For it to have been so close regardless of our play not being our best that day was for sure the greatest success of that game.”

UChicago’s freshman goalie and sophomore goalie have only allowed four goals so far this season. Meanwhile, Tuesday’s game was the first time that UChicago was unable to score at least three goals.

“We have proved to ourselves that if we can hang with the ‘big name’ schools, we can hang with anyone,” Oliver said. “Going into this next game we want to set the tone for the rest of conference play by making a statement that we intend to win most, if not all, of our games left in the season.”

The Wheaton women’s soccer team will face North Park University this Saturday, Sept. 30 at 4:30 p.m.

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