Photo by: Roxie Gonzalez
The Oklahoma Christian University women’s soccer team battled to the end against the Ouachita Baptist University Lady Tigers, posting their best score of the year – a 2-2 tie.
Since the Lady Eagles’ fall to the University of Central Oklahoma on Sept. 9, the players and coaches have had a different attitude and approach, according to Women’s Soccer Head Coach Randall Robison.
Robison said he was extremely pleased with the ladies’ performance.
“We’re proud of the girls,” Robison said. “They fought every single minute, which is something that we haven’t had this season yet.”
The season’s first goal of the Sept. 12 game was the result of Madeline Roseke’s assist to Estefania Bermudez Delgado, who headed in to put the Lady Eagles ahead.
The Lady Tigers recorded their first goal in the 23rd minute. The Lady Eagles quickly answered back in the 30th minute, as midfielder Alexis Farrell drove deep down the right side of the field before crossing the ball to Roseke, whose hard shot from about 10 yards out beat Ouachita Baptist goalkeeper Jessica McCauley, putting Oklahoma Christian up 2-1.
With 12 shots, Roseke’s aggressive play led the Lady Eagles, to a 33-17 advantage on shots.
“We knew that Zeke (Madeline Roseke) would develop into a really good player,” Robison said. “Obviously, she’s still young and has a long way to go, but she’s just been a lightning rod out on the field with her pace and her energy. If you look at her when she’s striking the ball, she has an excitement about her – that she knows she’s going to get them.”
Roseke said she is trying to adapt to the new style of play and adjust to her role on the team.
“Playing in college is an all-around different experience than in high school,” Roseke said. “The level of play is more intense and the mental strength required is also heightened, but my teammates and coaches have been nothing but amazing. I couldn’t have been more blessed to play with such an amazing team.”
After posting a career-high 18 saves in Sept. 9’s game against UCO, goalkeeper Lindsey Williams upheld her defensive barrier, rejecting six Ouachita Baptist attempts, including two significant saves in overtime to hold the score at 2-2.
“We put Lindsey under way too much pressure the first three games,” Robison said. “Tonight, we put her in some situations that we probably don’t want to, but this is more indicative of what we should ask a goalkeeper to do. … She has been great.”
Oklahoma Christian continued its home stretch with another game on Sept.13 as they took on Northwestern Oklahoma State.
The team’s rampant injuries were apparent, as almost half of the Lady Eagles’ starters lined the bench.
“We didn’t have enough energy in the second half and didn’t have the production up front that we kind of challenged the girls with at halftime,” Robison said. “We have kids playing in different positions all over the field out of necessity.”
The Lady Eagles showed signs of fatigue early in the second half and Northwestern took advantage, scoring a late goal, and then the game-winning goal in the 77th minute.
Players and coaches took plenty of positives away from this weekend’s games, sophomore Monique Raygoza said.
“The team has realized that each soccer game is not going to get any easier,” Raygoza said. “So we have to work twice as hard at practice to see our improvements in the games we play. We are getting better with every practice and every game.”
Cooper said she is seeing the teams progress, even through the losses.
“Despite the tie and loss that resulted from this weekend, I’m extremely proud of my team,” Cooper said.. “We picked ourselves up after Tuesday and put passion into our play and brought out the skill we all knew we had.”
The Lady Eagles took their first road trip of the season following a 5-game home stand to face Midwestern State University on Tuesday, Sept. 16. Despite Willams’ 14 saves on the night, Oklahoma Christian fell 0-6 to the Mustangs.
Oklahoma Christian will face Angelo State University on Friday at 5 p.m.