Though defense was the focus for the Knox women’s soccer team in practice this week, the Prairie Fire got the best of both worlds when the offense exploded for four goals in Knox’s 4-0 win against Eureka College on Wednesday.
“We’ve really been working to play more together as a defensive unit, and that looked really good today,” head coach Melissa Joseph said.
Joseph’s emphasis on defense was clear, as Knox frequently found itself in favorable defensive situations, typically having five or six defenders to cover Eureka’s forwards, even on offensive breakthroughs. The tight defense left Eureka with limited scoring chances and only a handful of shots on goal.
As for the offensive explosion, the production came primarily off the foot of senior Arielle Dorman, a two-time All-Midwest Conference forward. She set the tone early, stealing a pass and pocketing a goal with just over a minute gone in the first half.
She would score two more times, but scoring was not everything according to Joseph as “she not only scored goals, but was also creating chances for everyone else.”
Knox fields quite a young roster this year, with as many freshmen as all other class levels combined. Considering the amount of young players, Joseph has been heavily relying on “all returning players to help turn our first-years from high school players into collegiate ones.”
One of the players who has been quick on the learning curve is freshman midfielder Abigail Jackson. Jackson rarely looked flustered against the Red Devils, displaying solid ball skills and excellent passes, including a beautiful cross that led to Dorman’s final goal.
The victory was the Prairie Fire’s second of the year, one which according to Joseph could launch the team to a very successful second half. Their next chance is on the road at Grinnell on Saturday, Sept. 29.