Women’s soccer falls 3-0 in final game of season
The Eagles finish the season losing 14 of final 15 games
The AU women's soccer team finished its season with a 3-0 loss to Army West Point Saturday at Reeves Field. The Black Knights (4-11-2, 2-6-1 PL) capitalized on corner kicks and free kicks and put the Eagles (2-15, 1-8 PL) under defensive pressure throughout the match.
“[Army] fought today and were resilient,” AU’s head coach Anabel Hering said. “We worked hard today, but I thought they outworked us to get to 50-50 balls. They were good in front of goal and took their chances.”
The Eagles registered more shots in the first half, four to Army’s three, but were undone by poor defending on an Army free kick 16 minutes into the game. Army midfielder Samantha Sullenger floated a ball towards the 18 yard box from a deep free kick and midfielder Clare Shea headed the ball into the net at the far post beyond AU freshman goalkeeper Ryleigh Brown.
“I think we gave away too many corners. Our clearances should have been better,” Hering said. [The first goal] was a good finish but we didn’t hold our line and allowed runners in the box [with no markers].”
The Eagles registered two shots on goal in the first half, but were unable to break down the Black Knights’ defense. The Black Knights started the second half brightly and took a two goal advantage when Sullenger fired a low shot past Brown on a rebound from a corner kick. Forward Erynn Johns added a third goal for Army in the 58th minute when she looped a shot from 20 yards over Brown.
AU built most of its offense down the wings, but struggled to commit players in attack and were unable to deliver crosses that led to shots on goal.
Prior to the match, the Eagles honored its three seniors, Carly Perry, Kaylee Hillard and Kira Flaherty. Hillard has been injured for the entire 2017 season while Perry has played in two games for AU. Flaherty started every game for the Eagles in 2017 and registered two of the team’s five goals on the season.
“She’s our captain and she has a lot of leadership and she’s brought that passion and drive every training and every game and that’s what helps drive our energy,” Hering said on Flaherty. “It’s very important that we have the next class step up in that leadership role.”
The women’s soccer team will have a young roster for the 2018 season and Hering hopes the juniors and underclassmen can grow after a disappointing year.
“There’s a lot of potential for the future because at any point [this season] we had five or six freshmen in the game,” Hering said. “Getting them the experience of this season under their belt, hopefully they learned from it and continue to grow and progress and we can build the team from there.”