Written by Andrea Martin. Media by Joe Hubbs
The women’s soccer team played in their first two home games of the season where the Lady Panthers competed against Rose-Hulman and Illinois College. Both games resulted in a loss (0-2 and 0-3 respectively), but neither game did not go without its glimpses of prowess.
Offensively the Lady Panthers have relied on the speed and quickness of junior Jen Brackenhoff, sophomore LeAnn Brown, and freshman Barbara Nigro. Also following in the ranks of offense is junior Kency Lopez and freshman Mackenzie Burris. Throughout both games offensive opportunities appeared for the taking, but the timing of execution kept the Lady Panthers off the board. As mentioned before, the speed that has been demonstrated by the young offensive line of the women’s soccer team has been rough around the edges, but it has also demonstrated key composure and attitude in the wake of players being placed into new and developing positions. After losing six key starters, it has been necessary to construct a newly designed offensive scheme, which puts its faith into the rising underclassmen that now take the field, along with a few experienced upperclassmen. The experience that is gained throughout the year, though, is sure to facilitate the way the game is played.
On the defensive side, junior Kieley Leach and sophomore Tymber Gabbert lead the reigns as the two center backs with freshman Hope Brackenhoff as the starting goaltender. Originally a forward last year, Leach has been able to make the transition into a center back quite well, and has showed bursts of energy and speed as well as aggression (in the most positive way). Gabbert has remained stable and has fortified her position as a strong defensive back that is keenly aware of her surroundings. Forming a dynamic duo, both Leach and Gabbert have been able to construct a solid defensive wall amongst much offensive attack. Assisting them on the side is sophomore Becca Munshaw and freshman Taylor Purkey. Munshaw brings durability as she encounters different and distinguished players from opposing teams, not being easily beaten or necessarily pushed around. Purkey, although only a freshman, has a solid stronghold for the Lady Panthers. Displaying sturdy playing abilities, as well as robust tendencies to attack the ball, Purkey has proven that she is not intimidated by opposing forces that she encounters.
Although youthful and growing, the Lady Panthers will continue their journey as they face Washington University on Tuesday September 16th in St. Louis, Missouri. Their overall record right now stands at 0-4, and they will begin SLIAC play on September 27th when they play at Spalding University.