WU soccer triumphs in nail-biter

Arthur Rocha

The Washburn women’s soccer team beat the ranked University of Central Oklahoma team in a nail-biting ending.

Washburn University hosted the No. 24 ranked University of Central Oklahoma Saturday, Oct. 20. The UCO team was hungry for a win after losing twice in a row to Central Missouri and Emporia. The Ichabods came into the game looking for their seventh win of the season.

It was clear from the beginning that Washburn’s game plan was to attack UCO early. WU had more than three shots on goal in the first ten minutes of the match.

UCO’s defense tried to stop the Ichabods offensive efforts, but with 28 minutes left in the first half a corner kick by Washburn’s junior midfielder Tera Lynch connected with Senior Forward Olivia Grasso, giving the Bods a 1-0 lead.

It was only after Washburn’s goal that UCO started to up the tempo, attacking with intensity. With 24 minutes left in the half, UCO took advantage of a miscommunication in the Bods defense and equalized the score.

WU was quick to answer with an outstanding solo run by Lynch, who dribbled by her defender and scored from 15 yards out.

After the goal, UCO started pressuring WU’s goal again, forcing freshman goalkeeper Raegan Wells to make some important saves. But with only two minutes left in the half, the defense was broken down and UCO scored the equalizer, making the score 2-2.

The second half was an offensive show. Both teams had plenty of opportunities. UCO was in attack mode all half, which conversely opened up counter attacks for the Bods. With six minutes left in the second half, WU finally took advantage of one of those counter attacks. Lynch cleared two defenders and hit a stunning 20 yard shot that gave UCO’s goalkeeper no chance. The goal gave the Bods a 3-2 lead.

In their last hopes of a score, UCO came all out on offense, firing multiple shots on goal. But luckily for the Bods, Wells was up to the challenge once more with a string of incredible saves, maintaining the lead to close out the match 3-2.

Goalkeeper Wells was asked how it feels to beat the No. 24 ranked team in the country in such a close contest.

“It feels great, that is what we have been working for. We have been in a slump and we knew we had to bring out a win today,” said Wells. “It’s hard to even describe the feeling right now.”

Head coach Davy Phillips was asked how he prepared his team for such a tough opponent.

“I have told the girls since the very beginning of the year that we can beat anyone when we are at our best, and today was a good example of that as the girls did an excellent job in executing the game plan and mentally being engaged the entire game,” said Phillips.

The Washburn women’s soccer team is now 7-5-1 in the season. They play next Friday, Oct. 25 against No. 5 ranked University of Central Missouri.

Edited by Jackson Woods, Adam White, Jada Johnson