Winless in their previous four contests, the women’s soccer team snapped the losing streak by defeating Illinois College 1-0 last Saturday. The road triumph was also the Prairie Fire’s first conference win, bringing their record to 1-4 in league play (6-8 overall).
After an evenly matched first half the score stood at 0-0. In the second frame, Knox tallied the only goal of the contest when in the 70th minute a cross by senior defender Kate McManus was knocked in by team scoring leader, junior Emma Swanson. It was Swanson’s 13th goal of the year. Swanson continues her strong season, as she leads the Midwest Conference in both goals and points (29).
From there, the Knox defense and freshman goaltender Rachel Koene withstood the late offensive efforts of the Lady Blues (0-4-1 MWC, 2-9-2 overall) to preserve the shutout. Koene made 14 total saves, but credited the effort as team-wide.
“The midfield did a good job of coming back and the defense saved me a few times,” Koene said, “but overall it was nice to see everyone play hard to get the win.”
Unfortunately, Sunday was not as good to the Prairie Fire as Saturday when they fell to non-conference foe Elmhurst College 7-0. The Blue Jays brought a fast and balanced attack, outshooting Knox 29-1 while featuring six different goal scorers.
“They played a pretty fast style,” said Keone, who made eight saves in the match. “We seemed a little beat [after Saturday’s] game.”
Knox looks to recoup, then head on a two-game Wisconsin road trip against Midwest Conference opponents. The Prairie Fire plays Carroll University (5-0, 9-3) on Saturday and Ripon College (2-3, 3-10) on Sunday. After that, the Prairie Fire will stay close to the home for the remainder of the season. For the Homecoming game, the Prairie Fire will host Beloit College on Saturday, Oct. 23rd at 1:00 p.m.
Their final game of the season will be at Monmouth College (3-1-0, 7-4-2) on Oct. 27 at 3:00 p.m.