Titans drop a heartbreaker at home against Wash U.

Titans drop a heartbreaker at home against Wash U.

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Jeff Neukom

 

After making a statement with a 0-0 tie against the 14-1-2 Wheaton Thunder, the Illinois Wesleyan University Titan women’s soccer team kept the ball rolling with convincing performances against CCIW foes Millikin and Elmhurst.

The first of two vital conference matchups were against the Big Blue of Millikin University, where the Titans walked away with a 2-0 victory. They outshot Millikin by a ridiculous 32-2 margin, forcing the Millikin keeper to make 10 saves. Ultimately, the shots began to fall, but not without a bit of resistance from the Big Blue.

Wesleyan went into half time with a marginal one-goal lead, which was slightly concerning to any onlookers, as they had clearly outplayed Millikin.

Sophomore Sarah Trach buried any concerns in minute 67 of play when she notched her sixth goal of the season off an assist from senior Tess Bottorff. The Titans rode on cruise control at this point for the next 25 minutes to solidify the victory.

Less than three days later, the Titans ventured north to take on the Bluejays of Elmhurst College.  Junior Sydney Fox buried the game’s first goal, heading in a cross from first year midfielder Rachel Westerkamp.

A rare loophole in the Titans’ defense proved troublesome in the second half when a failed clearance gave the Bluejays an unassisted equalizing goal. The game went back and forth for a while after the goal, as the Bluejays battled resiliently against the number five ranked Titans.

In soccer, many supporters would argue the most important minutes of a game are the five minutes after a goal is scored—important both for the scoring team and the team scored on. Mistakes in these five minutes can be absolutely critical, which the Titans proved to avoid.

They continued breaking down the Bluejays’ backline, moving the ball side to side and testing the Elmhurst defense. Before too long, sophomore forward Amanda Kaiser proved heroic, burying the game winner in the minute 72. Often times, goals in soccer are scored inside the penalty area, but Kaiser’s goal came off an absolute firecracker of a strike from 25 yards out.

On Monday, Oct. 28, the Titans went toe-to-toe with the Bears of Washington University. Originally, this game had been scheduled back in September but was moved due to adverse weather. While this was not a conference matchup, this game featured two of the top five teams in the country, proving to be quite the spectacle.

At first, it seemed as though the Titans would spoil the Bears’ trip to Bloomington, holding them scoreless through the first half. A casual glance at the box score might also suggest a Titan victory, as they outshot the Bears 12-5, putting 7 of those shots on frame and conceding only two on their own goal.

Unfortunately, stats do not tell the whole story, as the Bears managed to make the most of their two shots with a 1-0 victory. The Titans are still poised for a playoff run, sporting a record of 12-4-1.  They will play their last CCIW game this Saturday, Nov. 1 against North Central College.