On Monday, April 19th, the Greenville University women’s soccer team defeated the Spalding Eagles in their quarterfinal match allowing them to advance to the semi-finals in the SLIAC tournament. The lady panthers were in high spirits with the opportunity to be able to keep moving forward with their season, however, it wasn’t going to be easy.
On Wednesday, April 21st, Greenville traveled to Clayton, Missouri to compete against Fontbonne University in their semi-final match. Fontbonne is ranked as the first seed in the SLIAC conference carrying a record of 10-0. With this being said, Greenville knew that they were in for a good battle. In an interview with the senior midfielder, Kate Arthur, she communicated, “Going into the game we knew that we were going to be the underdogs. With that being said, we also had in mind that we had nothing to lose and every reason to give it our all.”
Throughout the first half of the game, the lady panthers controlled the field by maintaining excellent composure and possession of the ball. “Fontbonne plays a pretty intense high pressure that is difficult to break in order to attack. We struggled to play quickly at times, but I think we played one of the best games of our season”, expressed Arthur. After all the blatant fouls, Greenville consistently fought hard and created opportunities for each other to score. With two minutes left in the second half, Fontbonne scored their first goal of the game from a penalty kick.
Moving into the second half, the Panthers came onto the field with a complete different intensity compared to the first half. In an interview with sophomore defensive wingback, Bree Peck, she elaborated; “I think when Fontbonne scored their first goal was when our team’s momentum shifted. I believe that our team was not going to allow a penalty kick to determine the outcome of the game. Our team showed how much we wanted to win by outworking Fontbonne in the second half”. The physicality of the match was incredibly intense and the audience could definitely see the competitive fire displayed on both sides of the field. Throughout this half, there were a total of three yellow cards distributed and eight fouls called on the lady panthers. At the 86-minute mark, Greenville fouled right outside of the goalkeeper box which allowed Fontbonne to score their second goal of the game. With the panthers being down 2-0 with four minutes left on the clock, Greenville continued to hold their heads high and keep pushing.
As this was the last game of the season, for some girls, this was their last game as a GU women’s soccer player. Kate exclaimed, “I still can’t believe that I can not claim the “soccer player” title any longer. After 15 years of competitive soccer, it will be hard to cope. Although, I am excited to see some of the younger players on our team develop and follow their careers.” Even though the lady panthers took a tough loss that ended their season, they will always be back for more. The sophomore defensive wingback, Kiera Coleman conveyed, “This semi-final game gives our team more motivation not only for ourselves but as a whole. It is also reassuring to know that we are progressing in the right direction and that we are that much closer to winning a title.”
Media by Jade Taylor.