After a long two-week break, the Greenville University men’s and women’s soccer teams start their conference seasons off strong with wins over Westminster College. During the ten game-less days, both Greenville men’s and women’s soccer teams had been working hard to build a strong team dynamic before the conference began.
Greenville University men’s soccer team started off in the first half battling it out with Westminster College. Shots on goal were pretty evenly matched up, along with who held possession throughout the game. Greenville men’s head soccer coach Chris Swift said, “They got numbers behind the ball, they were very organized defensively and they made it very hard for us to break them down. I was proud of our response going down one to nothing. Once we went down, we still believed we could get a result and the guys found a way to get the game tied up, send it to overtime, and then found a way to win.” The second half was the real test to see if Greenville could pull through after falling to a goal scored in the 71st minute by Westminster. Ten minutes later, sophomore, Jared McPeek, scored Greenville’s first conference goal to tie up the score. This goal was assisted by sophomores Juan Garcia and Napoleon Urquidi. The two teams fought to the very end of the match to end up with a score of 1-1 at the 90-minute mark. Intensity levels were high because it was time to seal the deal with an overtime goal. A minute into the first ten minute half of overtime, McPeek came in clutch with another goal sending the score to 2-1. Cameron Whitehead assisted McPeak’s sixth game-winning goal of the season. Coach Swift shared the excitement of this big team win. “I feel great! It’s always good to win in conference. I’m happy it wasn’t a pretty game by any stretch. Fair dues to Westminster, they came with a game plan, they executed their game plan and made life very difficult for us.”
Soon after the Greenville men’s soccer team finished their game, the Greenville women’s soccer team went to war with a rival from last season. The Lady Panthers controlled the first half by winning the fifty-fifty balls and keeping steady possession by completing passes. At the 22nd minute, freshman Jordan Wilson subbed in for Molly McDonnell and scored the first conference goal of the season putting the panthers up 1-0. This goal was assisted by freshman Jen De Leon. This season, the Greenville women’s soccer program has a young bench which consists of mostly freshmen and sophomores along with a couple juniors and seniors. Greenville women’s soccer head coach Jeff Wardlaw said, “I think that all the newbies on the team quickly realized how the intensity level goes up drastically when you enter conference, especially against a rival like Westminster.” Almost ten minutes after Greenville scored their first goal against Westminster, Greenville slipped up and let an accidental goal in which tied the game 1-1. Coming out in the second half, the Lady Panthers were fighting hard to find the back of the net. However, the game resulted in a double overtime. Both teams had various opportunities in the first overtime half to finish the game. Sophomore Kat Stroot shot a long ball from half-field that bounced over the Westminster goalkeeper’s head. Greenville rushed the field in excitement for a 2-1 win. “I think this was a big win for multiple reasons. From a personal standpoint of all the returners, I think it was a big win just simply because we lost to Westminster in the championship game and it felt like we could have done better last year. A small piece of it is that, but in the end, with how competitive this conference is, it is extremely important to beat another tournament team and get a very much needed three points to start off the year,” Wardlaw said.
Media by Ellie Cummins.