Written and Media by Jen Brakenhoff [divide]
The Greenville Men and Women’s Soccer teams have had a great start to conference play and it just keeps getting better. The Greenville Men’s team is now 5-0 after they took care of three very good teams in the conference, beating Spalding, Fontbonne, and Principia. They are now looking to improve their record to 6-0 this weekend against Eureka for homecoming. The Greenville Women’s soccer team took a loss to Spalding but then turned around and beat Fontbonne and Principia which makes them 4-1 in the conference. They also looking to take on Eureka this Saturday to earn their 5th conference win. The women’s performance against Eureka will also be their senior day and homecoming.
The Greenville Men’s soccer team played Spalding on October 8 and was able to finish the game with a 1-0 win. It was 0-0 going into the second half and they finally took advantage of one of their scoring opportunities. In the 82nd minute, freshman Jonny Madrid hit a through ball to sophomore Josh Ripperger, who was able to place the ball in the back of the net.
Only two days later the Greenville Men were able to take care of business again and beat Fontbonne 2-1. The team was high-pressuring Fontbonne all over the field until the 31st minute of the first half, Jonny Madrid hit a shot into the corner of the net. The men were not finished there when Josh Ripperger passed it off to Josh Davinroy who was able to capitalize on this opportunity only one minute into the second half. Unfortunately, the Greenville men did end up giving up a single goal in the 57th minute. Greenville was able to shut Fontbonne down and hold them to a 2-1 victory.
Men’s soccer didn’t just stop with beating two very good teams but they took care of Principia which makes them undefeated in conference. Principia was a tough team but Greenville was able to shut them down. In the 25th minute of the game, Greenville received a corner kick. Edgar Bueno took the kick with a nice cross right to Freshman Chad Juneau. Juneau was able to get a head on it which gave Greenville a 1-0 lead going into the second half. Greenville Men were able to shut down Principia for the rest of the game. It was a hard fought battle but Greenville came out on top.
When I asked Coach Swift how they dealt with the tough stretch of games this weekend he mentioned, “We didn’t focus on a group of games but rather focused on one game at a time. We wanted to perform against each team to the best of our ability. At the end of these past three games, we look back and think, holy crap, we are 5-0.”
Greenville Women’s soccer had a rough start to this tough three game stretch. They weren’t able to click in the first half of the game which caused some difficulties. It was even going into the second half when a penalty was called on Greenville in the 47th minutes of the game. Spalding was able to capitalize on this gift given to them. The game ended in a 0-1 loss to Spalding.
When the Greenville Women came back two days later to play against Fontbonne, they were a different team. They were flying all over the field, sticking together as a team, and really showing passion for the game. In the 21st minutes of the game, Tymber Gabbert hit a long ball over the top of the Fontbonne back line where she found Kieley Leach who placed it into the corner of the goal. The ladies took a 1-0 lead going into the second half. In the 81st minute Dani Pearce switched the field with a nice over-the-top pass to Whitney Warner who took a touch back into the middle and hit a shot from the 18-yard box. The Greenville ladies would win the match 2-0.
Greenville Women’s soccer knew they needed to put away Principia and the ladies were able to do just that. It was even game going into the second half until the 68th minute when Dani Pearce found the back of the net assisted by Whitney Warner. Greenville wasn’t satisfied with just one goal so in the 80th minute, Dani Pearce scored again pressuring the keeper who was attempting to pass the ball out of the box. Pearce stole the ball and put it in the back of the net. The end result was 2-0, which put Greenville into a great position for post-season play.
Coach Wardlaw quoted, “Coming into the season we saw this three game stretch and we knew this would have a huge impact on our post-season chances. As a coach I cannot be more proud of how the team bounced back less than 48 hours after taking the loss to Spalding to beat Fontbonne, who is a talented and a very well coached team who I have a lot of respect for. Going from beating them to beating Principia at Principia for the second time in school history was not only fantastic but a very important three points that we had to have.”
The Greenville Men and Women’s Soccer teams are turning heads this year and hope to continue to do so. The heart of these two teams are extremely inspiring and we are excited to see what the future holds for them. Greenville Men have their homecoming game this Saturday, the 17th, at 2:00 pm while the Greenville Women have their homecoming game and senior day starting at 4:00 pm. We hope to see everyone out at the soccer fields cheering on these two hard working teams take on Eureka!