Women’s soccer team ties Millikin, moves to 5-2-1

Webster University women's soccer team
Webster University senior defender Izzy Sherfy holds off Millikin University forward Nikki Smith in the Gorloks’ 0-0 tie with the Big Blue on Sept. 20 at the Soccer Park. PHOTO BY GALE WHITEHEAD

The Webster University women’s soccer team continued their defensive dominance, but had to settle for a 0-0 tie with Millikin University on Sept. 20.

Millikin came into the game averaging 4.2 goals per game through their first five matches — all victories. However, Webster kept Millikin scoreless and ended the Big Blue’s five-game winning streak.

“We shut down an offense that was averaging four goals a game,” associate coach Mike Hutchison said. “These are the types of teams you see in the conference tournament and in the NCAA tournament. It’s a pretty good test for us as far as where we’re at after one-third of the season.”

After an uneventful first half, Millikin nearly broke the tie seven minutes into the second half. Off a Millikin corner kick, Webster senior midfielder Morgan Milfeld kicked away a head ball that was going toward the net as she guarded the near post — saving a goal.

With 18 minutes left to play, senior defender Izzy Sherfy crossed the ball in front of the Millikin net off a free kick. Milfeld came flying into the box and managed to get her head on the ball, but it sailed over the net.

Freshman forward Kristin Montgomery had two breakaway chances with six minutes and one minute left in regulation. Montgomery dribbled around defenders both times, but failed to find the back of the net as two great saves were made by Millikin’s goalkeeper.

“We did a good job offensively creating some chances, but in a game like this you can’t miss two breakaways,” Hutchison said.

Montgomery had another shot saved in the second overtime period. It was the only real scoring chance Webster had in overtime, as the score ended 0-0. Webster added a tie to their overall record, which now stands at 5-2-1.

The Gorloks picked up two wins earlier in the week. Webster defeated Spalding University 4-1 on Sept. 17 in Louisville, Ky., and Coe College 1-0 on Sept. 18 in Clayton. The game against Spalding was the conference opener, as Webster picked up its first conference victory.

Freshmen scored all four goals for the Gorloks. Montgomery scored two goals and freshmen forwards Lauren Scalise and Michelle Scally scored as well.

“We were a little sloppy in the first half,” Hutchison said. “We were much better in the second half as far as getting the ball down and knocking it around. A lot of freshmen are a part of our offense. They’re doing a good job and working hard.

“The Coe game was in the rain and on the turf. We were a little sloppy. The other team played an all-out defensive style. It congested and clogged things up. It was difficult to be real efficient offensively.”

With the exception of the game against Spalding, Webster has scored one or fewer goals in four of its last five games. But the defense, anchored by Sherfy, has helped Webster win three out of those five games, including the tie against Millikin.

“We’re just having trouble making that last good play to get it in the net,” Hutchison said. “The last couple games were where we want to be defensively. Offensively, we just got to take it up a notch.”

Webster travels to Chicago for the weekend to play North Central College on Sept. 23 and Dominican University on Sept. 25.

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