Two of the best women’s soccer teams in the Great Lakes region clashed Tuesday afternoon amid a downpour at Mavec Field. The Case Western Reserve University Spartans (6-1-2) of Cleveland defeated Kenyon (7-4-0) 2-0, ending the Ladies’ seven-game winning streak
“When the weather and conditions are like this you have to figure out how to do it ugly,” Head Coach Kelly Bryan said. “They did a better job playing in it than we did.”
Both teams were red-hot coming into the contest. The Ladies had just dispatched their first conference opponent of the season, Wittenberg University, 3-1 to extend their winning streak. The Spartans won four of their last five games and boasted one of the best defenses in the country, only allowing two goals in eight games.
“We expected a great battle and we got one,” Bryan said.
The Ladies showed promise in the early moments of the first half. A foul was called in the 12th minute leading to an attempt on goal by Marie Laube ’16, but the Spartan goalkeeper was equal to the shot. The teams traded shots and field positions throughout the first half, punch for punch, and headed into halftime tied at zero.
“I wasn’t unhappy with how we played in the first half,” Bryan said.
The Spartans came back from the break a different team. Immediately after the whistle blew for the start of the second half, the Spartans turned up the pressure, sending more players forward. The wind changed directions and blew north-south into the faces of the Ladies defending. About a minute into the second half, Spartan Rachel Hammond rushed down the right sideline and crossed a high, looping ball that slipped past the grasp of Kenyon goalkeeper Alissa Poolpol ’16 and the Kenyon defenders, leaving a Spartan to pounce on the opportunity. The Spartans added one more goal to seal a 2-0 win over the Ladies, though both teams finished with eight shots on goal. The game was called about three minutes from the final whistle due to poor field conditions.
“We never really got our offense going today,” Bryan said after the game. “We weren’t decisive in the attacking third.” The Ladies were not able to play their game and were stifled by a strong Spartan squad.
“The ball was moving super fast and when you’re playing in the rain it really weighs you down,” Claudia Brown ’19, the second-leading scorer for the Ladies, with five goals, said. “We weren’t playing badly but we never really attacked inside their 18 [-yard box].”
The Ladies next play DePauw University on Oct. 3 at home.