By Hunter Craighill
Over the course of the first weekend of the new semester, the Sewanee Tigers women’s soccer team tied with Huntington College 1-1 after a tight match stretching into overtime and lost to Meredith College 2-1.
On Friday, both teams went scoreless in the first half thanks to some solid goalie work from Hannah Judycki (C’22) on a few opportunities from the Hawks. Being quite a young team, 16 first-years and only 10 returning players, the Tigers were still feeling each other out in their first game of the year and learning to play with each other, resulting in some “helter skelter” play according to midfielder and captain Dayla LaRocque (C’19).
Sewanee’s lone scoring attempt of the first half was halted around the 40th minute when the Tigers were caught offsides following a corner kick from LaRocque.
In the second half, Huntington struck first in the 53rd minute with a Sam Curtis goal off of an assist from Erika Gebhard. In the 65th minute, Sewanee answered when forward Savannah Williams (C’19) forced the keeper out of the box, opening up a shot attempt from Paige Rupp (C’22), which she sank into the left side of the net.
The rest of the second period remained scoreless with five combined shots from both teams. Overtime went back and forth with a couple of shots by both teams, one of them off of a free kick from LaRocque that was saved right as time expired, ending the match in a 1-1 tie.
Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. kickoff against Meredith was delayed by almost an hour due to thunder, so the teams took the field around 3:30. The learning curve continued to be steep for the Tigers in their second appearance, as some sloppy play led to several shot attempts by Meredith’s forwards.
Meredith finally found the back of the net in the 20th minute off of a breakaway goal by Jessica Wallace as she pulled Judycki from the net and dropped the shot over her head. Seven minutes later, Meredith scored again with a goal by Hannah Elvington, assisted by Morgan Tingen.
In the second period, the Tigers began playing more fluidly, passing well and playing off of each other, putting together a few scoring attempts. Unfortunately, only one of the six shot attempts found the back of the net with an unassisted goal from midfielder Mena Kerrison (C’20).
While the 2-1 loss was not the outcome the Tigers were hoping for, the promising second half play bodes well for the young team as the season continues. If they can build off of that cohesive play and perform at that level with more consistently, expect to see some number start to pile up in the win column.
Overall, despite the final scores of the weekend, this is still a very exciting group of young talent that will continue to be fun to watch as they grow and learn throughout the season.