The UR women’s soccer team learned a difficult lesson this past weekend after suffering losses to Washington University in St. Louis and University of Chicago.
The two UAA conference losses eliminated the Yellowjackets’ hopes of receiving a bid to Division III National tournament and moved the team to sixth in the UAA.
“From one point of view we had a very difficult weekend, because we had opportunities to win both games and lost twice. But I’m an optimist and I find good in the fact that we had chances to win both games against two quality programs,” Head Coach Terry Gurnett said.
Against Chicago – the number two team in Div. III – UR was strong for the entire first half. Scoring chances were there, but the team just could not finish.
“We were better than even with Chicago in the first half,” Gurnett said.
In the first 20 minutes of the second half UR kept the pressure on and created more scoring threats.
“We had balls bouncing around the six and just couldn’t put the ball in the net,” Gurnett said.
The Maroons opened up the scoring in the 57th minute and started pouring on the shots afterward. Chicago out shot UR 12-9 and sealed the game with insurance goals in the 67th and 79th minutes leaving the Yellowjackets with a 3-0 defeat.
Two days earlier UR fell to the hands of a charged up Washington Bears team 3-2. Early mistakes cost the Yellowjackets as the team found themselves in a 2-0 hole after the first 16 minutes of the game.
“[Washington] came ready to play and they capitalized on our mistakes,” Gurnett said.
The Yellowjackets valiantly fought back and came out strong in the second half. UR put two goals on the board courtesy of freshman forward Emily Urbanczyk within an eight-minute span. Urbanczyk’s first goal came off an assist from junior midfielder Betsy Cotton’s corner kick in the 52nd minute. Urbanczyk knotted the score at 2-2 when she fired an unassisted strike past the Washington keeper from 30 yards out.
“I’m so proud of how we fought back,” Gurnett said. “I can’t emphasize enough how impressed I was with that. Unfortunately, we got caught on the attack and Washington countered. The Washington game turned out to be a very disappointing 3-2 loss, but we learned a lesson from the loss.”
The weekend was marked by the Yellowjackets’ inability to put teams away. The team is still looking to play a full 90 minutes of soccer, a consistent game eliminating the waves of good and bad play.
“We gave both teams a chance to hang around and both eventually countered and came away with a win. We know that we need to put teams away when we have them on the ropes,” Gurnett said. “We have had some great growth this season. We have learned a hard lesson – the cruel part of soccer is that you can do an awful lot of things right and still get the wrong result.”
UR heads to Case Western Reserve University this weekend for their final regular season game. In order to receive an invitation to the East Coast Athletic Conference New York Regional Tournament, they will most likely need a win against Case Western.
Fitzsimmons can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.