It was a season of highs and lows for the Loras women’s soccer program.
With the toughest schedule in the country, the women battled through some of the top-ranked teams in the country. After finishing up the regular season at Coe College with an 8-2 win, the Duhawks (11-8, 5-2 IIAC) headed into the post season conference tournament as the No. 3-seed.
In the first round of the Iowa Conference Tournament Saturday, the Duhawks took on the No. 6-seed Luther Norse.
The game had a promising start for the Duhawks when junior forward, Katie Truesdale netted two goals in the first twenty minutes, giving the Duhawks an early lead. Their lead didn’t last long, however, as the Norse answered with a goal of their own and netted the equalizer towards the end of the first half.
Three minutes into the half, senior Kristina Everding found herself with the ball in the Norse attacking third and sent it across to the foot of senior Claire Murphy who sent her fourth goal of the season past the Norse goalkeeper.
The Duhawks had the lead, 3-2, but there was still plenty of game left. On a Norse corner kick, the equalizer goal would go through, as a low ball to the front post found its way past Duhawk goalkeeper Hannah Wilson.
With the match at threes at the end of regulation, the game headed into a ten minute overtime.
The Duhawks did their best to test the Norse keeper, but they just could not find the back of the net. With three minutes left in the OT, the Norse found themselves in the Duhawk attacking third, slotting the game winner past Wilson, ending the game, 4-3.
“I think the game against Luther showed that we learned a lot this season as a group,” said head coach Dan Rothert. “We scored three goals, mistakes cost us, but overall, I think we played pretty well and controlled the run of play. We have things to work on and use as motivation for sure.”
The loss ends the Duhawks 2014 season, and for the first time in 14 seasons does not allow the Duhawks to advance into the semifinal round of the IIAC tournament.
“I expect we will be back in the fold as a top team in the country next year,” Rothert said. “We have a lot of players coming back and we learned a lot about ourselves this year. I am as motivated as ever and I’m sure the team is too.”
The women finish with an 11-8 record and say goodbye to eleven seniors who have completed their soccer careers as Duhawks.
“Soccer can be a cruel game where the team in control does not always win and that is hard to swallow, but we will use it as motivation for the future,” Rothert said.