No, Batman was not in attendance at the Knox College women’s soccer team’s 8-0 win over Robert Morris University on Monday, Oct. 8, but that was what the crowd was thinking when they looked to the Knox goal and failed to find junior goaltender Rachel Koene.
Koene was not available for the Prairie Fire because she received a red card in Knox’s 4-1 loss to Cornell.
“It should not have been a red card,” head coach Melissa Joseph said. “She came out to make the save and got the girl’s ankles. It should have been a penalty kick, it should have been a yellow card, but it hadn’t been a dirty game up to that point.”
As a result, Koene not only missed the rest of the Cornell game, but also could not play against Robert Morris.
This left Knox looking for volunteers to fill in for one game. Ultimately the Prairie Fire settled on rotating time in goal amongst six players.
“I just wanted to put people [back in goal] that knew how to break down angles and could catch the ball,” Joseph said. “It was cold and I didn’t want someone to stand back there for too long.”
As the game progressed it became clear the Prairie Fire were truly prepared to answer the questions on defense by taking the offensive.
Senior Arielle Dorman and sophomore Ella Peterson each netted hat tricks as Knox plastered the Robert Morris goal with 34 shots, 20 of which came on goal.
Dorman and Petersen lead the Prairie Fire with seven and five goals respectively
“We came out in a new formation and we wanted to dominate offensively,” Joseph said. “We’ve been taking shots but not putting them in the back of the net, so it was nice to see eight goals.”
Also providing the scoring for the Prairie Fire were junior midfielder Brynn Cole and freshman midfielder Stephanie Nguyen, who each scored their first goal of the season.
There was one negative to come out of the game, however, as freshman forward Madison Dana suffered a season-ending ankle injury.
Dana has been in the starting lineup from day one this season, but Joseph has confidence in the team’s ability to rally in spite of the injury.
“To be honest with you, this team is the kind of team that plays harder when we have less.” Joseph said. “They never give up, and they really come together as a team. In a way, [Dana’s injury] has motivated us to play even harder.”