The women’s soccer team finished its season after falling 1-0 to Bellarmine University in a quarterfinal match of the Great Lakes Valley Conference tournament.
The Truman State University Bulldogs ended with a 10-7-1 overall record and a 10-5 conference record. The team clinched the fourth seed in the GLVC bracket after a four-game winning streak.
The Bulldogs and the Knights each had seven shots throughout the game, only two were on goal for Truman while Bellarmine had four on goal.
“It was a battle for sure,” defender Isabel Kurzban said. “With Bellarmine we knew going in that they were going to be a really good team. They have a lot of really athletic players — definitely a possession team — and we knew we had struggled against them in the past, so it was definitely tough.”
Head coach Mike Cannon said the team played well against Bellarmine, keeping the game even and limiting Bellarmine’s control of the ball.
“We played well in our last game, much better than we did against them in late September down at Stokes [Stadium],” Cannon said. “It was a very even game with very few chances for either team. We possessed the ball much better this time as we have the second half of the season overall. The game could have easily gone the other way.”
Kurzban said once the team got to the playoffs, the expectation was to play every game like it was the last and leave it all out on the field.
She said the game was back and forth and even somewhat physical, but in the end Bellarmine came out on top.
“It was pretty heartbreaking,” Kurzban said. “I can’t really describe that feeling … especially from where we started to where we finished, we were all hoping to be in Indiana.”
Overall, the season was fairly up and down, Kurzban said, until the team figured it out in the middle of the season. Despite the slow start, the Bulldogs won eight of their last nine games.
Cannon said he was happy with the second half of the season and after those first eight games the team seemed to adjust to become a better competitor.
“Once we figured a few things out, we were a different team,” Cannon said. “I am very proud of the team for finding a way to fight back from a slow start and finish fourth in the GLVC and earn a home game for the first round.”
Cannon said the team will work on starting the season stronger and scoring more goals for next season.
Kurzban said the team will be training and becoming a more tight-knit group in the off-season, hoping to create a strong team for next fall. With five seniors, Kurzban said the younger players will step up and make a difference in the future.
“There will obviously be things the group will miss, but definitely going forward they’re going to be good leaders and good teammates,” Kurzban said.