Two quick goals power Tigers past Panthers

Second half goals help Trinity top Chapman University in home opener


Gia Campolo

Trinity University Women’s Soccer team celebrating after they scored their first goal against Chapman

After an impressive opening weekend, Trinity women’s soccer returned to San Antonio to play their first home game of their 2022 campaign this past Sunday. It was a 2-0 contest against Chapman University which saw the Tigers dominate for the full 90 minutes.
An earlier-than-usual 11 a.m. start time drew fewer fans than normal, many of whom retreated off the concrete steps at Paul McGinlay Field to avoid the sun and heat. Clear skies and humidity left things much warmer than the 86º recorded at kickoff, but it was hardly an issue for the Tigers, who came out of the gates quickly.

The first five minutes of play saw Trinity as the aggressor, repeatedly intercepting the ball from the visiting Panthers and looking to counter quickly. Sophomore forward Michaela Bosco was very active early on, making a number of runs forward, including one on a ball swung in from fellow sophomore Taylor Campbell which was ultimately cut out by the Chapman defense.

After weathering the early storm of the Trinity attack, Chapman settled in and kept better possession of the ball as the score remained at 0-0, even building some attacks of their own. A nice first touch from the Panthers led to a chance inside of the box, but the shot was blocked by senior defender and All-American Bailey Meyer. Meyer played suffocating defense for the duration of the afternoon, the only Tiger to log a full 90 minutes of play outside of sophomore goalkeeper Lauryn Lewis.

Much of the first half saw the same building play, back and forth, with nothing to show for their efforts after 45 minutes. The two teams entered the break knotted at 0-0.

The start of the second half saw much of the same as several opportunities presented themselves, but neither team was able to capitalize. A corner from Chapman about seven minutes into the half turned into a quick Trinity counter, and the ball would remain with the Trinity attack in the final third of the field for much of the next 10 minutes of game time.

Eventually, a scoring opportunity presented itself to the Tigers thanks to some quick passing in the middle of the field from the feet of senior Cassie Bowers. She was able to get the ball to fellow senior Molly Sheridan at the edge of the box, who then turned and found junior Kyra Stafford along the left side. With several feet of separation around the left edge of the box and end line, Stafford fired a shot across the field that buried itself in the right-side netting of the goal, giving Trinity a 1-0 lead that felt almost inevitable.

With one goal now on the board, the Trinity attack stepped on the throttle. Just moments later, Bosco would earn the second corner of the afternoon, and Stafford swung the ball across the face of the goal. This time, the ball would find its way into the netting off the foot of Molly Sheridan, coming off a deflection and assist from Josephine McCray.

The 2-0 lead would prove to be all the Tigers needed (although they threatened with several more goal-scoring opportunities), as Chapman had few to no good looks from inside the box, with their best chance of the day coming on a free kick from thirty yards out that hit the bottom of the crossbar but was cleared by Lewis.

The defense pitched its third shutout of the year and has only given up one goal through four contests — including a matchup against no. 11 Washington University in St. Louis. The unit has been incredibly impressive to head coach Dylan Harrison.

“It’s never easy, especially this early in the year when you got a new unit and everything,” Harrison said. “Mistakes happen early in the year. So the level that they’re playing at and the way that they’re able to cover themselves on the weak side was strong.”

The defense has anchored the team’s performances early this year as the attack has dealt with the loss of Kaity Ward, who was named a first-team All-American last year as a senior.

“We’ve definitely been trying to fill in that gap. And so I think really it’s all about at the beginning just getting used to playing with one another, with new girls on the team that have a lot of potential, but just figuring out where we are and how to connect those passes,” Sheridan said.

The victory moved the Tigers to 3-0-1 on the young season, but more importantly, served as another early-season matchup against a strong non-conference opponent.

“I think it was a really good way to show out in our first home game of the season and it was a really good way to show a team that is not in our conference, but potentially in the same region as us that we could see later on, what we can do and how well we can play together,” junior Reese Wallace said.

Trinity will play two games this weekend on Friday, Sept. 16, against Hardin-Simmons University at 6 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 18, against the University of Texas at Dallas at 2 p.m. They open conference play next Friday, Sept. 23, against St. Thomas at 7 p.m.