Junior midfielder Ally Nikolaus only took 29 seconds to respond to North Central College’s game-tying goal to give the lead back to Webster. Nikolaus’ goal sparked a Gorlok onslaught, as the Webster University women’s soccer team controlled the game and came away with a 5-1 victory over North Central (Ill.) on Saturday, Sept. 22 at St. Louis Soccer Park.
Junior forward Jordan Fosburgh scored her second goal of the season with 11 minutes left in the first half to put the Gorloks up 1-0. Eight minutes into the second half, North Central junior defender Tyra Maher tied the game with a 35-yard free kick. The Gorloks didn’t hesitate, as they quickly bounced back with Nikolaus’ goal to retake the lead 2-1.
From that point on, the Gorloks started to control the game as they piled on three more goals, one each by freshman forward Lauren Pratt and freshman defender Jessica Mess. Sophomore forward Kristin Montgomery capped the scoring with a breakaway goal with two minutes left to secure a 5-1 victory over the Cardinals.
The win puts Webster at 6-2 on the season. Coach Luigi Scire said he loves the persistence in his team this season, especially the determination the Gorloks showed after North Central tied the game in the second half.
“The thing I like about the team this year is that they have a lot of fight in them,” Scire said. “They’re young and they just like to play. Even though the game was tied, you can see that they never let down, and, right off the bat, they responded with a great goal by Ally to make it 2-1. … I am extremely happy with how they played this game.”
Pratt said the team’s second-half play helped close out the game.
“We just did what we needed to do,” Pratt said. “We had a good halftime talk, which got us pumped up for the second half.”
Scire said he likes what he sees from his team defensively thus far. The Gorloks have allowed only six goals in eight games this season.
“The defensive side, we’re doing really well from the 18 to the 18 (yards between goal boxes). We’re defending very well one-v-one, and, as a team, we’re doing some very good things defensively,” Scire said. “From 18 to 18, when we break it down, when the other team has possession, we’ve only given up three goals the entire year. Defensively — the defense has done an outstanding job on the defensive side, so that continues to be a strong point in our game.”
The Gorloks have a huge test on Thursday, Sept. 27 at the Soccer Park when they take on the 12th-ranked team in the country, Washington University.
“Great challenge against WashU,” Scire said. “They are playing well. I think for us, we need to play great team defense — that’s something we’ve done all season long. Individually, we need to get a little better on our one-v-one defending. One of the keys that we’ve done really well in the last three or four games is being able to possess the ball and knock it around and create all kinds of chances based on our midfield, and create opportunities for our playmakers up top.”
Fosburgh agreed with her coach on the key to going up against WashU.
“I think we just have to work really hard for each other, which we’ve been doing all season,” Fosburgh said. “We need to be physical and make sure we pass the ball around and keep possession.”
On Monday, Sept. 24, the team practiced possessing the ball and will continue to do so leading up to the match Thursday evening, Fosburgh said. Kickoff against WashU is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.