Two weeks ago, Ladies soccer had just lost their third-straight game by one goal and their high hopes for the season may have seemed dashed.
Now, all they can do is win.
The Ladies picked up a sixth-straight win Wednesday afternoon, beating Otterbein University (Westerville, Ohio) 2-0 at Mavec Field, bumping their overall record to 6-3.
The recent surge may have been a surprise to the casual fan, but not to Head Coach Kelly Bryan. “We’re probably one of the best 0-3 teams you’ll find around,” Bryan said back when the team was in the 0-3 hole. “Of the three teams we played, two are NCAA [National Collegiate Athletic Association] tournament teams.”
The first half against Otterbein was a defensive affair with each team shooting four times toward goal. The tide turned midway through the second half when Maggie Smith ’17 dribbled past a defender to get a cross off from the right corner. The ball flew, deflected, into the path of Claudia Brown ’19, who pounced on the opportunity by toe-poking a shot past the onrushing keeper. Five minutes later, Smith found herself with space about 20 yards from goal, shooting a rocket into the top-left corner to put the Ladies up 2-0. With the win, the Ladies extended their impressive run.
The Ladies can credit their reversal of fortune to an improved offense. During their first three games, the Ladies amassed .33 goals per game. During their six-game winning streak, that ratio has jumped to three goals scored a game. Smith leads the Ladies with six goals on the season. The Ladies have also received a boost this season from a pair of first-year forwards; Brown has four goals and Briana Maggard ’19, three. The Ladies will look to extend their winning streak to seven when they face Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland) on Sept. 29.