Photo by: Abby Bellow
The Lady Eagles soccer season-opener turned violent as a physical altercation between two competing players erupted on Sept. 4 against Oklahoma City University.
“The atmosphere was intense,” sophomore defender Amanda Cooper said. “It was a high-energy game by both teams.”
This intensity and physicality resulted in an altercation involving Oklahoma City’s Allie Glazner and Oklahoma Christian’s Courtney Nixon. The brawl resulted in red cards and the ejection of both players, as well as a suspension for the next game.
The Lady Stars aggressively attacked the goal from the start, but goalie Lindsay Williams had several key saves to hold off vicious attacks by the Lady Stars.
Although the Lady Eagles battled their way through the first half, the Lady Stars still slipped in two goals: the first from Brittany Soesbee in the 25th minute of the game, and the second from Allison Worsham in the 59th minute. Despite several promising looks at the goal, Oklahoma Christian failed to score.
The Lady Eagles came out strong in the second half with multiple attacks and close shots early in the half but were unable to capitalize on the opportunities. Worsham of Oklahoma City managed to put two more goals through to extend the lead to 4-0.
The match was delayed in the 65th minute with a game-ending injury of Oklahoma Christian’s Hannah Lorentz, who had to be carried off the field.
“Losing Hannah Lorentz was a huge loss for us,” Head Coach Randall Robison said. “She is a big part of our defense and a tremendous leader to this team.”
The Eagles continued their first week of Games, hosting Southern Nazarene on Sept. 6. Weather played a factor in Saturday’s game as rain and colder temperatures affected field conditions.
Southern Nazarene came out hot, scoring in the ninth and 15th minute. The Lady Eagles had no offensive answer in the first half.
Despite Oklahoma Christian’s overwhelming control of ball possession in the second half, the Lady Eagles failed to score past Southern Nazarene’s Natasha Fuentes.
The Lady Eagles held a firm defensive front until Mallary Pineda stretched SNU’s lead to 3-0 in the 71st minute.
The Lady Eagles’ players and coaches kept a positive attitude about the week’s harsh losses.
”I think that two loses this week does not determine our season,” Cooper said. “All we can do from here is go up and get better. Each day, every practice, game and minute as long as we get better for our team and each other – that will determine our season. We can only get better.”
According to sophomore Bailey Barron, it is important not to over-analyze single games.
“Our attitude after each game is to improve on the things we struggled with, and to grow on the things we succeeded with,” Barron said. “It’s all about the bigger picture and trying to grow individually as well as a whole.”
Coach Robison said he was pleased with his team’s play in the second half of Saturday’s game, despite the outcome.
“We must be ready to compete from the opening whistle,” Robison said. “The second half of the SNU game is something that we must build on as we move forward. We showed patience and composure on the ball, stuck to our plan, and controlled most of the play.”
The Lady Eagles continued their five-game home opener as they faced their cross-town rival, the University of Central Oklahoma on Sept. 9.
Despite a career-high 18 saves by Williams — the most by an Oklahoma Christian goalkeeper in seven years — the Lady Eagles trailed UCO 0-1 at the half. A Broncho hot-streak sealed the match as Oklahoma Christian recorded its third consecutive loss, falling 0-5.
The Oklahoma Christian women’s soccer team will face Ouachita Baptist University at home on Sept. 12 at 7 p.m.