With heavy rains and a tornado watch in effect for much of the pregame warmups, the Webster University women’s soccer team started its season on the right foot by defeating Whitman College (Wash.) 2-1 on Saturday, Sept. 1.
Sophomore forward Kristin Montgomery scored once in the first half then again in the second, giving the Gorloks the victory. Montgomery led the Gorloks with 10 goals last year.
The combination of stingy defense and solid play by sophomore goalie Jessica Davis kept Webster in the game despite being outshot by Whitman 9-5. Davis stopped all but one shot, earning her first win this season.
“For a young team, I thought they did an outstanding job on defense,” Webster coach Luigi Scire said.
This young, senior-less Gorlok team battled through the elements again on Sunday, Sept. 2, but came up short this time. They lost to Alma College (Mich.) 2-1 in overtime.
Alma was in complete control of the first half, outshooting the Gorloks 8-0. The Gorloks survived the onslaught of Alma’s multiple scoring opportunities and went into halftime tied at 0-0. Solid play by Davis and a defense that continued to bend but not break kept the Gorloks close.
Three minutes into the second half, Alma forward Mackenzie Smith scored, putting the Scots up 1-0.
Alma continued its dominating performance for much of the second half. But with 15 minutes left, the Scots were called for a foul right outside of the penalty box.
Junior midfielder Ally Nikolaus sent a near-perfect shot into the back of the net, tying up the score at one a piece.
“Last year, (Nikolaus) drilled a few from the same spot,” Scire said. “She’s a heck of a player and she comes up big when we need her, and that’s why she’s one of the leaders on this team.”
The momentum seemed to shift to the Gorloks for the rest of regulation, but the score remained tied, sending the game into two 10-minute sudden-death overtime periods.
With 6:25 remaining in overtime, Alma’s Kailey Vlug put one in the back of the net, sending the crowd of approximately 160 home.
“Everything is a positive,” Scire said. “Moving forward, we will continue working hard. Our goal at the end of the year is to make sure that we’re in position to make the NCAA tournament. I think for our players, it gave them a taste for what it’s like to play in the tournament and be successful against a good team.”
The Gorloks play Elmhurst College on Saturday, Sept. 8 at 11 a.m. and on Sunday, Sept. 9 against Monmouth College at 2 p.m.