The Greenville University Women’s Soccer Team has recently done something no other team in the SLIAC has been able to do for nearly four straight seasons: defeat Webster University. The Lady Panthers got their chance to do this in the opening semifinal match of the SLIAC tournament this year. The game was played on Halloween night, Wednesday, October 31, on Fontbonne Universtiy’s campus in St. Louis, Missouri. Webster being a team that Greenville teams had repeatedly fallen to in post-seasons prior to this, the Lady Panthers had a little more motivation in the back of their minds to try to make this the game that ended their post-season winning streak. They were finally able to fulfill that mission.
It was a highly competitive game in its entirety that ended up going into overtime after regulation ended in a 1-1 tie. Greenville was able to get on the scoreboard first right before the first period ended as sophomore Megan Taylor headed a corner kick from senior Dani Pearce. This goal gave the Lady Panthers a 1-0 lead in the 41-minute mark of the match, and it remained that way until Webster finally scored their only goal with just over five minutes left to play in regulation. Both teams got just one shot off in overtime, but it was sophomore Jade Taylor that ended up being on goal and sealed the win for the Lady Panthers. She scored just fourminutes into the overtime period, which gave the team the walk-off win after a hard fought battle.
Greenville trailed Webster in total shots attempted throughout the match 13-18 but led by one in shots on goal with 7-6. Junior Breanna Thomas led the Lady Panthers in shots with five total and three on goal, while the only assist for the team came from senior Dani Pearce. Junior goalkeeper Marjory Coates did well in saving five of the six goals she faced throughout the match.
It was only Jade Taylor’s third goal of the season but one she is sure to remember, as it pushed the GU Women’s Soccer Team to their first SLIAC championship final since 2012. Check out her game-winning goal below!
Greenville had a record of 6-2 in the conference going into the game with one of their losses coming from Webster in the regular season. On the other hand, Webster found themselves undefeated in conference for the fifth time of the last six seasons. Because of this crazy statistic, Coach Wardlaw was extremely proud of his team finally putting an end to their post-season reign by stating, “The stats were even throughout the game, so I think we really surprised them with playing as well as we did.” Webster has regularly been known to dominate the opposing teams they’ve played, so being able to legitimately compete with them really shows the growth Greenville’s Women Soccer Team has seen over the years. Being able to actually beat them shows that growth as well, and has definitely opened the eyes of other teams in the SLIAC to look out for GU in the future.