UR women’s soccer played two close games last weekend against University Athletic Association rivals Washington University in St. Louis and University of Chicago and came away with two close, 1-2 losses. With the defeats, UR fell to 10-5-2 this season.
Junior defender Stephanie Diebold described the ‘Jackets as evenly matched against their competitors.
‘Wash U and Chicago were both strong, aggressive teams with a style similar to ours,” Diebold said. ‘I think we set the tone of the games within the first 10 to 20 minutes, but we could not get the ball in the back of the net on the opportunities that we did have.”
On Friday, the Yellowjackets matched up against Wash U. Within the first 10 minutes, the ‘Jackets were in the lead, thanks to sophomore forward Bridgette Varin’s score off a corner kick. The goal was assisted by sophomore defender Kirsten Ross and freshman forward Ellen Coleman.
‘Our forwards do a great job crashing the box, so after the ball is slotted, they usually can get on the back end of it,” Diebold said. ‘Our weakness comes after we score a goal. The team seems to let up and relax after we score a goal, and then we get scored on soon after.”
Wash U exploited that weakness three minutes later by taking advantage of a defensive slip to tie the score.
For the rest of the first half, the teams remained in a 1-1 tie until Wash U scored again early in the second.
UR pressed hard on Wash U’s tough defense, and play was kept in the midfield for a significant part of the second half.
In Sunday’s game against Chicago, UR again took the lead first this time in the second half. Carballo scored her first goal of the season by putting the ball past the Maroon goalie off of a teammate’s rebounded shot. However, Chicago tied the score with only 11 minutes left in the game.
With the score tied, the game moved into overtime. Chicago scored during the last five minutes of overtime, winning the game. UR junior goalie Celeste Hornbach notched four saves.
The matchup was an intense battle the whole 104 minutes of play. The game totaled 33 fouls UR registered 23 of them and had the air of a heated rivalry. Both teams finished with 11 shots, and Chicago held a slight edge in corner kicks.
Two ‘Jacket players were out with injuries for both of the games senior midfielder Laura Bojko and freshman forward Jess Smith, both of whom normally play an integral role in the team’s offensive production and team speed. Bojko has four goals this year and Smith has six.
Defensively, the Yellowjackets hung tough and dug in but were unable to hold on. Junior Eileen Boylan, senior Kelsey Turley Diebold and Ross played strong in the backfield. Boylan has been the team’s leader in the back for the entire season, proving to be cool and confident under pressure.
The weekend’s games were two of several close women’s soccer games this season. UR has gone into overtime five times this year including three times in the UAA and has lost three of those games.
The losses put UR in sixth place in the conference and forced them to fall eight places in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll, from No. 13 to No. 21.
The Yellowjackets face Case Western Reserve University this Saturday at 4:30 p.m. for its last game of the season.
‘I think the team has pushed hard this whole season and, unfortunately, things did not go our way according to the scores,” Diebold said. ‘However, this team has so much talent, and there is no doubt in my mind that the results to several if not all of those games would be different on another day.”
Leber is a member of the class of 2011.