In an upset over Labor Day weekend, the Trinity womenâ€™s soccer team lost to Chris Newport University in their first game of the season. The game, which took place at the Atlantic Orthopaedic Tournament in Virginia Beach, Virginia, saw a 0-0 draw through two halves and the first overtime. In double overtime, the CNU Captains scored, claiming victory over the No.5-ranked Tigers.
â€œIt was an unlucky goal,â€ said Jordan Bethea, senior defender. â€œA series of unfortunate mistakes. Itâ€™s never just one thing that leads to a goal.â€
The Tigers could very well see the Captains later on in the postseason, as CNU was a tough team that presented a challenge to the typically formidable Tigers.
â€œThey were very physical, very tournament-worthy,â€ Bethea said. â€œItâ€™s better to lose now than in conference â€” not that we ever want to lose.â€
Hannah Booher, senior midfielder, echoed Bethea’s sentiment.
â€œWe worked hard the whole game and had our opportunities and we could have won. Itâ€™s just especially hard when you know that you did everything you needed to and it just didnâ€™t come through for you,â€ Booher said. â€œIt can show you where your weaknesses are and we know that we are motivated to work on those weaknesses.â€
â€œIt wasnâ€™t a very pretty game, but we wanted it more, especially after losing,â€ said Chelsea Cole, junior midfielder.
Near the end of the first half, VWU earned a free kick, which they translated into a goal. However, thanks to a strong Tiger defense and senior goalkeeper Kalli Douma, the Tigers ended the game with victory after a scoreless second half.
â€œWe possessed the ball more in the second game,â€ Bethea said.
Players attributed the victory to a more aggressive approach to the game as well as a heightened desire to win.
â€œIt was more of a mindset,â€ Cole said.
The next day marked the home opener for womenâ€™s soccer, as the Tigers faced off against the Sul Ross State Lobos for a Labor Day matchup. Within nine minutes of taking the field, the Tigers had six shots on the board and succeeded in raising the score to 1-0 with a goal from junior forward Halleanne Dure, assisted by Camp.
â€œWe had the goal of being ruthless, so in a sense we gave them a hard time across the field. As a team we were determined to work for a win,â€ Dure said. â€œFollowing through on the original shot on goal, and always striving to make sure that the ball goes dead.â€
This past weekend, the Tigers again returned to the pitch to face the Aurora University Spartans. The game was dominated by Tiger offensive control. Trinity delivered a series of beautiful goals, beginning with Betheaâ€™s game-winner 16 minutes into the first half.
â€œWhenever you get a pretty early goal, any goal in the first half, itâ€™s kind of crushing to the other team cause you know they have this uphill battle to go through now,â€ Booher said.
The first half continued with two goals from Booher, with assists from Dure and Markey.
â€œItâ€™s like hitting them in the mouth and then knocking them down. You just canâ€™t get back up from that,â€ Booher said.
Markey continued to shine in the second half, giving the Tigers a 4-0 lead by tricking the goalkeeper out of the box and scoring on an open goal. Senior midfielder Julia Kelly headed a free kick into the net with an assist from Booher, bringing the score to 5-0.
â€œI think we go in with the same offensive strategy every game, no matter who weâ€™re playing. We know what we can do well, we can pass the ball, we can play with each other and we can make connections well and thatâ€™s how we work our way to the goal,â€ Booher said.
Despite having a clear victory, the Tigers continued to take shots, and in the 80th minute of play Dure scored on an assist from junior forward and midfielder Katie Peth.
â€œThe game is not over until the final buzzer. As a team and individually we are very determined to show our opponents who we are and how we play, so that goes until the final buzzer,â€ Dure said. â€œKatie Peth assisted me on the goal and she did a great job of finding my feet and the gap between the defenders.â€
The game also marked head coach Dylan Harrisonâ€™s 100th career win as a collegiate head coach. The Trinity soccer alum was presented with a commemorative game ball by Bob King, director of athletics.
â€œWe all signed a ball for him,â€ Booher said, â€œAfter the game me and Julia Kelly tried to throw Gatorade on Dylan, but he put a stop to that.â€
Dure was enthusiastic about contributing to her coach’s achievement.
â€œIt was a honor to be part of the team that helped Dylan reach the goal of 100 wins,â€ Dure said. â€œAs a coach, Dylan challenges me to be a better player every time I take the field.â€
The game ended with a score that, despite being astonishingly high for the sport of soccer, is a typical representation of the Tigersâ€™ offensive capability. The women proved that despite one unfortunate pre-season loss, the team has not lost the luster with which they have shined year after year. With a score of 6-0 over Aurora and 5-0 against Concordia University on Monday night, the message was sent loud and clear: Trinity womenâ€™s soccer is back and they are force with which to be reckoned.
You can see the 5th-ranked Tigers take on the University of Dallas this Friday, Sept. 15, at 6 p.m. at Paul McGinlay Soccer Field, or live on the Tiger Network.