Battle for third place in MIAA ends in draw between Washburn, Southwest Baptist

Jessica Mainz and the Lady Blues fought tough but were unable to put away a victory, tying with Southwest Baptist at 2.

Sheldon Warmington

On Thursday, the Lady Blues soccer team accomplished what coach Tim Collins called “one of the nicest wins of the season.”

Even though the win in Nebraska pushed the Lady Blues to a record seven consecutive wins, the victory also marked a shutout of the University of Nebraska-Omaha this season, a fact which made the seventh win in a row that much sweeter from the Blues. Washburn was outshot 10-7, but the Lady Blues ended the match by outscoring UNO two goals to one, with both goals coming from Danielle Ayala.

After finishing the first half scoreless, Ayala connected on a free kick in the 71st minute and again in the 77th on an assist from Jessica Mainz.

“For me it was such an honor to be a part of this win, to know how hard we’ve worked to get this far is just a great accomplishment,” said Kaydi Hooker, of the record-setting win.

“We started out the season a little bit rough but worked extremely hard in practice, and concentrated on playing our game,” said Lisa Fahey.

On Saturday night, Washburn faced a team that many believe has been their toughest adversary in conference this season.

After losing to them 2-1 in their first encounter, the Lady Blues hosted Southwest Baptist, a team led by a power-packed pair of forwards: Nicola Cousins and Rhiane Mitchell, who hail from Wales and England respectively.

The Bearcats, who entered the match with a record of 8-3-2 overall and 5-3-1 in conference, came out of the gates attacking early. The ball was predominantly played on the Washburn half, and at the 11 minute mark it led to Nicola Cousins scoring her 13th goal of the season when she converted on a Beckham-esque free kick from just outside of the 18-yard box, putting the Bearcats up by one goal to none.

Not to be outdone, Washburn came right back in the 33rd minute, when Lisa Fahey scored on a free kick of her own, converting from 33 yards out to even the score at 1-1. With only four minutes to go in the first half, freshman Rhiane Marshall scored the second goal for SBU to end the half with a 2-1 advantage. To further the Lady Blues’ problems, sophomore Danielle Sicard left the game early in the first half because of a tweaked knee, but it is not believed to be anything severe at this point.

At the start of the second half, in what seemed to be a sure goal for the Bearcats, Marshall beat Washburn goalkeeper Ashley Klone and was dribbling toward an open net before falling to the ground holding her knee. There were no reports as to the severity of her injury.

Soon thereafter Lauren Henry scored her seventh goal of the season on an assist from Jess Mainz to tie the game at 2-2. Neither team could score in the remainder of regulation, or through the extra 20 minutes of double overtime, despite an aggressive offensive display that showed how badly both teams wanted to win.

The Lady Blues play again on October 30 at Kirkville, Mo. when they take on Truman State.