By Ryan Hulligan, Guest Writer
Coming off a win against Ball State last Sunday, Xavier women’s soccer headed to Loyola Chicago for a tough matchup on Thursday.
Both teams went scoreless in the first half. The Musketeers had more control, however, putting up five shots, two of those on goal, while Loyola only had one shot. Xavier had a variety of players putting up shots, with senior forward Emma Marcus and graduate student midfielder Molly McLaughlin sending shots wide, and junior forward Sonia Vargas having one shot saved and one blocked by an opposing player.
Going into the second half, the Musketeers still had the advantage, having more control over the ball and again putting up more shots than the Ramblers, making the shot count 11-2. Both Marcus and first-year forward Emily Flick would put up shots, both getting blocked, and junior defender Maddie Reed sending one wide.
Heading into the final minutes of the game, Xavier made a last push to get a goal. Sophomore forward Chloe Netzel would sub in for Vargas at minute 62. She put up two shots in her first two minutes on the field, neither finding their way in the net. Finally, Netzel was able to find herself with a goal on the assist from junior midfielder Avery Lockwood, putting the Musketeers up 1-0 with less than a minute remaining. The Musketeers defense held on and Xavier secured the win.
Following their game against the Ramblers, the Musketeers headed to Northwestern on Sunday, to take on the 3-1-1 Wildcats. Coming in undefeated up until this point, the Musketeers had their first loss of the season.
The Wildcats got ahead early, scoring in the first five minutes, and then again 10 minutes later. The Musketeers’ defense needed to step up for the rest of the game, and Xavier’s first-year goalie Maria Galley did just that with a few key saves before the half.
Still, the Wildcats went into the second half with a 2-0 lead, having possessed the ball for most of the half and outshooting Xavier 8-3.
The Musketeers stepped up their offensive game in the second half, applying pressure to the Wildcats’ defense. Possession was more balanced in the second half, with Xavier finding ways to move the ball swiftly and push up the field with pace.
The Musketeers outshot the Wildcats in the second half with Flick and Vargas both having two shots on goal, but they were unable to find any in the back of the net. With a final score of 0-2, the loss to the Wildcats moved the Musketeers to 4-1-1 on the season.
Xavier will host St. Louis University on Thursday, Sept. 8 and Lipscomb on Sunday, Sept. 11.