Strong start to conference
PELLA, IA. – The Loras College women’s soccer team continues to rebuild their winning streak after a 3-1 victory over American Rivers Conference opponent, the Central College Dutch. This would be the third win after losing to No. 5 Wheaton College in mid-September. Prior to the three consecutive losses earlier in the season, women’s soccer constructed a five-game winning streak. It looks like they will rebuild and expand that winning streak into the American Rivers Conference match-ups.
The next five match-ups will be conference match-ups. The safest bet for the women’s soccer team to receive the No. 1 seed in conference is by winning all of the upcoming games — starting with their next match-up on Saturday. By the time of this publication, the team was 2-0 in the conference.
At Pella, IA., three different Loras athletes each scored a goal while also holding the Dutch to one goal. Both teams had strong starts while the momentum swung back and forth. However, Loras broke through in the 23 minute with a header, led by junior forward Brynn Jacobi, putting the Duhawks on the board first, 1-0. Jacobi’s sixth goal of the season was assisted by senior defender Taylor Trovato.
The Dutch attempted to respond with a counter but the Loras defense was able to slow their momentum. Ultimately, the Central Dutch wouldn’t go silently after leveling the score, 1-1, in the 44t minute. Central’s Katie Wang earned her first goal of the season against senior goal keeper Kaylee Coble. Coble did have one save on the night, adding to her total of 29 saves on the season, with nine of them coming off the Wheaton College match-up.
The start of the second half was similar to the start of the first half, including the Duhawks finding the net first — this time, by sophomore forward Ryleigh O’Brien, scoring her sixth goal of the season as well. O’Brien was assisted by first-year midfielder Olivia Lansing after delivering a well-placed pass. This put the Duhawks up, 2-1, in the 58 minute.
The Central Dutch once more tried to counter, but the defense stumped them again. The stop built some momentum for the Duhawk offense to battle back and score an insurance goal in the 65 minute. This goal was scored by sophomore defender Braylin Mensik after a give-and-go from first-year midfielder Payton McDonnell.
The goal would give Mensik her third goal of the season and put Loras up, 3-1. The defense on both teams prevented each other from scoring for the remainder of the match, giving Loras the edge over Central when it comes down to conference seeding.
The focus for the women’s soccer team is now on the American Rivers Conference Tournament and finishing at the top of their conference. This, in turn, will give them a better seed, which is an easier and more direct route into the NCAA National Tournament.
You can watch the women continue to rebuild their winning streak by catching them in the Rock Bowl this Saturday, Oct. 12 at 5 p.m., right after the Homecoming football game.