Over the weekend the women’s soccer team traveled to Indianapolis, Indiana, to take on the University of Indianapolis Greyhounds before returning home to face off against Bellarmine University in its fourth and fifth conference games of the season. At the beginning of the weekend, the Bulldogs were 2-1 in conference play and 2-2-1 overall with the majority of their Great Lakes Valley Conference games left to play.
Coming into the first game of the weekend, the Bulldogs were looking to continue their dominance over the Flyers of Indianapolis. The Bulldogs were 6-0 against the Flyers all time before the Friday night game, and needed a big victory to give them a winning record for the first time this season. From kickoff the Truman offense was stagnant. With only three shots on goal for the game, the Bulldogs were shutout for the third time this season. The only goal for either team came in the 34th minute by the Greyhounds’ Lexi Turner.
Earlier this season, defender Isabel Kurzban said one of the team’s points of improvement for this season was trying to avoid getting down early in games and trying to dominate games from start to finish. Slow starts on offense this year have prevented them from doing so. The offense will need to improve and begin to put up points if the Bulldogs hope to repeat as regular season conference champions. Following the 0-1 loss, the Bulldogs moved to 2-2 in conference play, 2-3-1 overall and 6-1 all-time against the Greyhounds.
The ’Dogs returned home Sunday afternoon needing a win to move above .500 in conference play, and keep their hopes of a GLVC Championship alive. Bellarmine came into Stokes Stadium with a record of 5-2-1 and 2-2 in GLVC play. This match also marked the first matchup between these teams since the Knights of Bellarmine knocked the top-seeded Bulldogs out of the playoffs last season. With seven shots total and three on goal in the first half alone, the Knights offense was on the attack, but goalkeeper Beth Hopwood and the team’s defense held strong and escaped the first period with a 0-0 tie.
In the second half, the Bulldogs’ offense was still unable to catch fire. With only one shot on goal in regulation to match the Knights’ six, the Truman defense carried the team to overtime for a chance at a sudden death victory. After another scoreless period in the first overtime, the first goal of the game bounced past Hopwood into the left corner of the goal in the 107th minute to end the ’Dogs second double-overtime game of the season. This game marked the second time this season the Bulldogs have been shutout twice in one weekend. When asked about what this team needs to do to focus their attention and prepare for this weekend, Kurzban said that having a hard week of practice and staying disciplined throughout their practices have been the team’s priorities. Kurzban also addressed the lackluster offense so far this season.
“In terms of scoring and taking pressure off our defense, we’re working on passing the ball to feet, specifically in the final third,” Kurzban said. “[We’re] making sure we’re finishing our chances when we get opportunities to do so.”
After the long weekend, the Bulldogs now sit at 2-4-1 overall, 2-3 in conference play and tenth place overall in the GLVC standings, which would exclude them from the conference tournament in November. This year’s team will be in need of wins this weekend on the road against Lewis University and the University of Illinois-Springfield to return to .500 and begin the climb back to the top of the GLVC.