By: Brendan Burris ~Staff Writer~
Heading into Big East conference play, the Musketeer women’s soccer team has compiled a 5-3-1 record, going 3-1-1 in its last five games. The team finished off its non-conference schedule against two in-state opponents, falling 2-1 to the Ohio Bobcats and playing to a two overtime draw in its crosstown matchup against the UC Bearcats.
The first game versus Ohio on Sept. 18 saw the Musketeers trail early on a 33rd minute goal by the Bobcat’s redshirt junior forward Holly Harris. A 59th minute goal by freshman forward Samantha Rowland saw Xavier go down by two with 30 minutes to go until sophomore Kenadie Carlson scored her fifth goal of the season from inside the six yard box off a Samantha Dewey pass in the 81st minute.
The Musketeers failed to find the back of the net in the final nine minutes, falling to a Bobcats team that is now 2-5-0 on the season. Overall, the Musketeers challenged the Ohio team, registering 16 shots, seven on goal, but could only muster the one goal to show for it. Junior goalkeeper Rachel Piccus also registered 4 saves for the team.
The Sunday night crosstown matchup proved to be a totally different animal for the Musketeers, playing their city rivals Cincinnati to a two-overtime, 0-0 draw. Piccus made a career-high 13 saves against a Bearcats team that finished the game with 13 of 27 shots on goal. Shots on goal proved hard to come by for the Musketeers against a stout UC defense, with the team registering 10 shots, but only one of those on goal.
The Bearcats, now 5-2-3, were relentless in their attack throughout the 90 minutes and beyond, but coming short against the stellar Xavier defense and goalkeeping. After falling 2-0 to UC last season, the team was really looking to challenge UC in this game.
“We’ve been thinking about that for 364 days,” coach Woody Sherwood said.
With a weekend total of 17 saves, Piccus was again honored by the Big East Conference by being named to the weekly honor roll. The team’s next game begins its conference season, with the DePaul Blue Demons visiting the Xavier Soccer Complex at 2 p.m. on Sept. 25. The team’s first road conference game against the Georgetown Hoyas takes place at 1 p.m. on Oct. 4 in Washington, D.C.