The women’s soccer team, ranked 20th, notched their fifth straight win against Nebraska Wesleyan this past weekend, improving to 8-1-1 overall and 2-0-0 in the Iowa Conference.
After allowing a goal from NWU in the 19th minute, the Duhawks answered quickly and went on to score five unanswered goals.
Senior Sydney Wright got the ball rolling for Loras, as she notched the first goal of the game off of a penalty kick late in the first half of play. This was Wright’s first goal of the season. Before the half, senior Mackenzie Anderson built up the lead with another goal, her first of the season. Two minutes later, she scored again in the 44th minute with an assist by senior Molly Stanfa.
Going into the second half, the Duhawks had a comfortable 3-1 lead. Junior Elizabeth Mills had all eyes on her in the second half as she raised the bar to 5-1. Assisted by senior Lauren Bolnius, she notched a goal in the 54th. This was quickly followed by another in the 61st minute.
These two goals add up to seven for Mills so far this season. Conjoined effort from the Duhawks allowed for an strong win, asserting that they are a contending team in the Iowa Conference.
Glancing at the stat sheet, it is clear that the Duhawks had an immense amount of control over the game. Loras notched 26 shots, with 11 of those on goal. Meanwhile, Nebraska Wesleyan only got five shots off, with only two on goal. The Duhawks’ stellar defense made the day fairly easy for goalkeeper Kaylee Coble, as she faced the penalty shot early in the game, but only saw one shot head for the goal for the remainder of the match.
“We played well together. The defense did their job, and everybody seemed to be one step ahead of the Wesleyan defense,” Coble said. “We had the chance to put plenty of goals in.”
The win, especially by such a margin, was important for the Duhawks.
“The Iowa Conference is a very strong conference,” said Head Coach Matt Pucci. “There’s three other teams right where we are and we need to create as much separation as possible.”
He isn’t wrong. According to Jim Naprstek, director of athletic communications at Loras, Iowa Conference schools have combined for a win percentage over .500, with three teams over .800.
The Loras women will need to continue their dominant run in order to keep a leg up on their conference competition.
The Duhawk women travel to Luther on Saturday, Oct. 7, to take on an even-keeled Norse team. At 5-5 on the season, 2-0 in the conference, Luther will be a willing opponent for the Duhawks.