The women’s soccer team opened their conference schedule against the Simpson Storm on Saturday in the Rock Bowl. The Duhawks were happy to be back on their home field after games out-of-state.
The Duhawks (6-2-1, 1-0-0 IIAC) opened the scoring in the 24th minute when senior Danielle Vujovic headed home a flick from fellow senior Katie Truesdale to make it 1-0. This would end up being the game-winning goal.
“I saw a perfect cross coming in so I headed toward the goal,” Vujovic said. “Katie headed it straight in the air and I saw my opportunity to jump on it and send it in the net. She made it easy because all I had to do was jump higher than my opponent and basically tap it in.”
The women played stingy defense from the start. The Storm (2-6-0, 0-1-0 IIAC) went without a shot in the first half. The second half was more of the same as Simpson managed only one shot on goal. The Duhawks maintained possession for most of the half and continued to display their offensive prowess.
Sophomore Gretchen Schultz sent a corner kick into the box and found Truesdale on the other end to make it 2-0. The final nail in the coffin came in the 76th minute when Truesdale took control of a loose ball and snuck it under the cross-bar to finish off the Storm, 3-0.
This win marked the Duhawks’ first shutout of the season. The main reason for this was the constant pressure put on by the defense throughout the game. The strong defense translated to an even more effective offensive attack, with the Duhawks taking 21 shots compared to Simpson’s one.
Danielle Vujovic knows if they want to make a deep postseason run, the Duhawks must continue to play this type of defense.
“We may be scoring a lot this season, but once we start facing tougher competition it gets more difficult to score, so we need to be able to rely on our defense,” she said.
The Duhawks will have a few days to rest and prepare before they welcome the UW-Whitewater Warhawks to the Rock Bowl on Wednesday night. Despite being a non-conference matchup, the winner of this game earns bragging rights for the next year.
“In this game, we aren’t only playing to win but to decide who takes home the Hawk Cup, so you can always guarantee a hard-fought battle,” said Vujovic. “We have to be mentally prepared to come out with our best performance possible.”
The Warhawks come in with a 7-2 record and recently defeated UW-Stevens Point, 5-0. They have a high-scoring offensive attack led by junior forward Brianna Reid, who has scored 11 goals this season. The Duhawks’ defense will be tested early and often, especially keeper Maria Siebels, as the Warhawks average 15 shots per game.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in the Battle for the Hawk Cup.