Sports / The Prairie Fire / September 23, 2009

Women end close-game frustrations

The weather this past Sunday for the Prairie Fire women’s soccer game against the MacMurray College Highlanders was less than ideal: cloudy, gray and wet.

Knox’s players, although cold and drenched, warmed up with a sunny disposition. The game was delayed 39 minutes, so the Prairie Fire had plenty of time to pass and shoot.

“We came out like we wanted to play,” said freshman Arielle Dorman, who was last week’s Prairie Fire Player of the Week. “We had lots of time to warm up and we came out knowing we could win.”

It was clear the Prairie Fire’s goal for the game was pressure. The Knox players hounded the MacMurray players and barely missed several shots. However, the Highlanders were able to counter-attack and scored the first goal 15 minutes into the match. Knox was able to respond with a goal nine minutes later when Dorman slotted a shot past MacMurrary keeper Megan Usherwood. The score remained tied at one up to halftime.

The second half continued with both teams attacking. However, the Prairie Fire women’s soccer team, now 1-6 overall, was able to keep the ball up in the opponents’ half most of the game. Once again, MacMurray was able to counter attack and scored their second goal to make the score 2-1.

After this point, the Prairie Fire started to play to their full potential. Knox responded nine minutes after the Highlanders took the lead, as senior Rozie Smith literally nosed in the equalizing goal. The Prairie Fire applied even more pressure, sensing that the other team was slowing down and growing tired. Dorman netted the go-ahead goal with 20 minutes remaining in the game. The score was now 3-2.

But the Prairie Fire did not stop there.

Sophomore Emma Swanson scored another goal with a little over 12 minutes remaining to put the game out of reach. For final emphasis on the victory, junior Kathryn Sain struck a bullet into the top corner to score the final goal for a 5-2 victory over the Highlanders.

“We came out slow in the first half. The girls recognized that and propelled themselves,” Prairie Fire assistant coach John Baillie said. “They have the desire to win. The season has been up and down. When we come out and play, we can play with anyone in the country.”

The Prairie Fire women’s soccer team looks to win two in a row as they play Sunday, Sept. 27 at 1 p.m. against Cornell College. Come to Jorge Prats Field to support the streaking team.

Robert Porter

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