Women’s soccer battles against injury

The Truman State University women’s soccer team lost two of its last three games, then beat the Lewis University Flyers 2-0 on March 21. 

Before grabbing their third win so far this season, the Bulldogs lost to the University of Southern Indiana 0-1 and the University of Indianapolis 2-3. 

Southern Indiana won on a penalty kick in the 84th minute as Truman dropped its second game in a row, leaving the team with a 2-4 record on the season. After another loss and a win, the team’s current record sits at 3-5.

Head Coach Mike Cannon said that Truman has faced numerous injuries over the past year, leaving the team depleted in numbers. 

“[The injuries] have made it more challenging,” he said. “We should get some players back soon, so we don’t have to play 14 or 15 players back to back … which wears on you if you don’t have a bench.”

Some freshmen on the team have been forced to play larger roles with all the injuries the team has suffered. One of them is defender Izzy Heintz who has stepped up in a big way this season. 

Heintz said it has been difficult to take on such a large role for the team as a freshman. However, she mentioned the team has helped a lot and has built an uplifting culture in the face of adversity. 

Heintz has played 282 minutes for the Bulldogs, including 106 minutes in a double overtime game against Missouri University of Science & Technology

Truman has found itself in many close contests this season, which gives Coach Cannon confidence despite a rocky start to the season.

Lindenwood went to overtime, Mckendree went to overtime, they were all fairly even games,” he said. “We are right there. In most of the games, we have been tied most of the time.”

Despite numerous shot attempts and chances, the Bulldogs have found it challenging to find the back of the net this season, with three goals being scored in six games, all courtesy of junior forward Faith Branson

Branson said she credits her performance this season to the work that she put in during the offseason, yet she still finds areas to improve.

“I’m trying to work on connecting with the midfield more,” Branson said. “We had more opportunities to score because I was holding the ball more to help the team get up because if I make a mistake and lose the ball, the defense and midfield have to work back again.” 

Cannon said the first goal will be huge in upcoming contests, with most of Truman’s games having a scoring margin of 1 goal.

“We are a good team and they are a good team … if you look at the scores in the conference, the games are pretty tightly contested,” Cannon said. 

Truman plays against the University of Illinois-Springfield at 1 p.m. this Friday in Collinsville, Illinois, and the game will be streamed on GLVCSN