The Knox College women’s soccer team was hopeful that their games against two Midwest Conference opponents this past weekend would add two contests to their win column, but it did not.
On Saturday, Oct. 18, the team traveled to Waukesha, Wis. to take on the Carroll University Pioneers and was defeated 9-0. The Pioneers netted their first goal just 29 seconds into the game and at halftime had a 6-0 lead. Upon conclusion of the game, Cody Callender had four total goals for the Pioneers, three of which were scored in the first half, and Jason Bretzmann, the Pioneers’ women’s head soccer coach, notched his 100th career win.
“Carroll is an extremely good team, very technically skilled, and very fast,” said sophomore Casey Patrick. “While we did not play up to our ability in the first half, we came out much stronger in the second. Carroll was able to capitalize on the corner kicks they had (17 total), and they got a few in on us that way. Due to the small size of our team and the recent addition of new players, we are still learning how to work together as a team. I was impressed with how well we started to play together on the field in the second half.”
On Sunday, Oct. 19, the Prairie Fire traveled roughly 82 miles from Waukesha to Ripon, Wis. to take on the Red Hawks of Ripon College in hopes of pulling out a victory, but they were unable to do so and lost 6-0.
Unlike the Pioneers, the Red Hawks did not score right away against the Prairie Fire. In fact, it took them 14:40 to do so, but once Brittany Johnson opened up the scoring in the first half on a center pass from Jessica Martzahl, it did not stop, especially for Johnson. At halftime, she had three goals, and Ripon had built a 5-0 lead. In the second half, the Prairie Fire defense dominated, but the offense was only able to get two shots on goal.
“We came out very strong against Ripon, but we gave it right back to them,” Patrick said. “They are a rough team. The refs did not call much, so we had to hold our own on the field, and I was proud of the way we were able to play regardless of their less-than-legal moves. It was by far the dirtiest game I’ve ever played in, and I was impressed with how everyone, especially the new girls, stuck it out and never gave up. I think that once we work on a few things in practice, we have a real chance to win a few more games in the conference.”
The two losses make the Prairie Fire’s conference record 1-5 and 1-13 overall. This week, they hope to improve their conference record in their matches against the Monmouth College Fighting Scots, which will be played at 3:30 p.m. today in Monmouth, and Saturday, when they host Beloit College at 1 p.m.
“We have two big games this week against Monmouth and Beloit,” said junior Cassie Milleville. “I think our biggest goal for the rest of our season is to still fight to get better. We never settle, and we always look for the next best thing we can do to have the competitive edge. I am really proud of my team and think these next two games will be very exciting.”