By Hunter Craighill
The Sewanee Women’s soccer team played a tough home stretch over the weekend, losing games to Thomas More and Lynchburg on Saturday and Sunday. As of now with five losses and two ties, the team has yet to win a game, three of the losses coming at home.
The first of these two difficult games kicked off on Saturday, September 15 at noon and resulted in a 1-0 loss to Thomas More college. It was a defensive battle through and through, with the teams combining for a total of seven shots the entire match, neither with more than one on goal.
“It was a really close game,” according to Coach Patrick Johnston, “a really good game that could have gone either way.”
The lone goal that tipped the scales in the favor of the Saints came in the second half off the foot of Thomas More defender Abby Hutcheson with an assist from Gracie Kunkel. “We got unlucky some, but you know you have to make your own luck,” Johnston also commented regarding Saturday’s loss.
Despite the outcome, it was quite a fun game to watch, as both teams worked extremely hard to keep the ball out of their net; the defensive hustle was clear through the stat sheet.
On Sunday, the Lady Tigers took the field again to face off against Lynchburg college. Sewanee’s defense came out strong once again, holding the team ranked 13th nationally scoreless in the first 38 minutes of the match. Sewanee keeper Hannah Judycki (C’22) played outstandingly in goal with five saves, but the 16 shots (nine on goal) eventually wore down the defense and allowed some through.
In the 38th minute, Lynchburg’s Kennedy Jakubek scored her first goal with an assist from Caitlin Mertens, breaking the tie and starting the scoring for the Hornets. Three minutes later, Alyssa Kopsidas scored unassisted to bring the score to 2-0 in favor of the Hornets, which was the score going into the half.
The onslaught of shots continued in the second half from Lynchburg with Mertens finding the back of the net off of an assist from Jakubek in the 55th minute. Jakubek led Lynchburg’s team in both shots and scoring with six shots and two goals, her second coming in the 59th minute unassisted to bring the score to 4-0. That score carried to the end of the game to hand Sewanee their third straight loss.
“[Saturday’s] game was close, but today we were playing the 13th ranked team in the country, probably will be within the top ten by the end of the weekend,” Johnston said about Sunday’s loss, “so it was tough.”
It was hard to ignore the statistics coming into the match, as Lynchburg had won two in a row coming into their matchup with Sewanee. “We played alright,” Sewanee Forward Savannah Williams (C’19) said, “but clearly not good enough.”
Sewanee will continue their hunt for a win when they return the the pitch on Tuesday, September 18 to play Agnes Scott away. Despite recent woes, both the coach and the players are confident they can turn the season around. There are still a lot of young players that are consistently getting large chunks of playing time, so as they mature and improve, the team will improve with them.
They must continue to look to the leadership of the seniors, who have experience with team and have been successful in the past, in order to learn how to win. As Johnston said, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” so we hope to see this team grow in the upcoming games and start on a winning trend.