The Greenville University Women’s Soccer Team started out their conference season by battling it out with a few of their infamous rivals. In a two-week span, the Lady Panthers competed against Webster University, Spalding University, and Fontbonne University. These teams are known for their exceptional athleticism and competitive fire.
On March 10th, Greenville competed against their greatest rival, Webster University. In past years, Webster has absolutely ruled the SLIAC, but this year, that is not the case. Greenville worked hard to prepare for this long-awaited match. Sophomore midfielder Jen De Leon De Leon expressed, “As we all know, Webster is one of our biggest rivals. Going into this season, Coach Wardlaw reiterated the fact that our March lineup was going to be extremely difficult since we were competing in back-to-back matches that could determine where our team stands in the conference.” Throughout the match, Greenville and Webster matched each other’s high intensity of play by keeping the score close. However, the Lady Panthers upset the Lady Gorloks with a goal from De Leon De Leon, which would put Greenville ahead 3-2 in the second half. The Panthers held it together for the last 20 minutes of the game to take home a well-deserved win over Webster University. The other two goals were scored in the first half by sophomore Jo Wilson and freshman Emma Caldwell. Wilson communicated, “I think the idea of beating Webster is what kept us in the game even when we were not so sure about what was going to happen. It’s something that everyone on the team was looking forward to accomplishing, so we kept our eyes on the goal, continuing to work through the negativity in order to come out on top.”
After a nice win against Webster, Greenville continued to prepare for their next couple of battles. On March 13th, Greenville competed against Spalding University. This match was rather demanding for the Lady Panthers. Greenville had a total of 15 shots on goal throughout the game compared to Spaldings 13 shots. Unfortunately, the Lady Panthers could not find the back of the net. Freshman midfielder Caldwell elaborated, “After the Webster win, our team was feeling really good. Our team had high confidence, and we were very encouraged. I think that kind of affected our play against Spalding because we went into the game expecting to play the way we did against Webster without putting in the same work ethic.” The Panthers held on for the whole game, keeping the score at 0-0. Two minutes into overtime, Spalding finally scored their first goal, leaving Greenville in the despair of a tough loss. “The loss against Spalding really hurt us in the end. It allowed our team to realize that if we want to be champions this season, we are going to have to stay consistent and motivated every day, no matter how hard things get,” said De Leon De Leon.
That following week, the Greenville spent their practice time realigning their game plan. The Panthers had a week without games, which allowed them to prepare for that next game against Fontbonne University. The Lady Panthers were not having the best of luck with only a total of 5 shots on goal in contrast to Fontbonne’s 17 shots on goal. Greenville clinched the first half by keeping the score 0-0. Thirty minutes into the second half, Fontbonne had scored almost back-to-back goals, putting them ahead 2-0. Inconsolably, the Panthers fell to the Griffins, which set their conference season record as 1-2.
Although the Greenville University Women’s Soccer Team has taken two losses, the team is determined to get back on their feet and play like the team they know they are. The Panthers will continue to learn from their mistakes and consistently move forward in order to reach their goal for the season.
Media by Jade Taylor.