Women’s soccer has three-game winning streak, moves to 3–2

First-year Brittany Couture maneuvers the ball around an Earlham defender.  (credit: Yihuan Zhou/Photo Staff) First-year Brittany Couture maneuvers the ball around an Earlham defender. (credit: Yihuan Zhou/Photo Staff)

With the start of the fall sports season, the women’s soccer team is primed and ready for competition. With a 2–2–0 record, the Tartans hope to improve with a new head coach, a strong group of returning players, and fresh talent.

The Tartans opened their season with a loss against the Allegheny College Gators on Sept. 1 in a tight 1–0 game, the first of a tough three-game road stretch. The Gators and Tartans struggled to score in the first half, making only a combined three shots on goal throughout the entire period. Late in the period, the Gators scored. Although the Tartans tried to rebound, they were unable to come up with the goals to win the game. Senior keeper Anya Rosen made five saves and junior Elsa Wu had three shots.

In their next game, the Tartans faced No. 25 Denison University on the road and lost 2–0. Wu had two early shots, and the Big Red scored halfway through the first period. The Big Red also managed to score in the second half to preserve the lead.

In their latest road game, the Tartans took on the Kenyon College Lords in an overtime contest. The first half was scoreless. In the second, sophomore Katie Davis scored on a header that came from sophomore Mitra Ebrahimi’s free kick. The score was tied off a penalty kick made by the Lords’ Kelly Schorling, sending the game into overtime. The Tartans didn’t waste time, as junior Nicole Bayley scored 21 seconds into overtime to win the game.

“Scoring within 21 seconds overtime against Kenyon was a testament of their mentality as a team,” head coach Yon Struble said. “They did not want to settle for a tie, and it was a team effort — a win as 11 players.”

On Saturday, the Tartans played their first home game against the Earlham College Quakers in the Radisson Invitational, where they won in a 1–0 shutout. First-year forward Alex Venegas scored in the 14th minute of the first half off a corner kick, which proved to be the game winner. Venegas finished with seven shots on goal. Eight other Tartans had shots on goal, as the Tartans cruised to their second straight victory.

Venegas is optimistic about the season. “We are on an upward trend: We went from losing our first couple games to winning, and now we have a shutout and now we just want to score more goals. We are coming together very well, meshing well," she said. "Our team chemistry is great; we love each other and we really care about each other so much. I’m just really excited for the rest of the season because it’s still early and we’re doing so well already, so I’m excited to see what else is in store with us.”

The Tartans finished up the invitational with a win against No. 22 Wittenburg 1–0 yesterday, and will play again on Saturday, when they travel to Oberlin College to take on the Yeomen at 1 p.m.