WU Soccer falls to Central Oklahoma 3-1

Washburn takes tough loss to Central Oklahoma due to second half struggles
On Oct. 14, Washburn played their 15th match of the year at home against the Central Oklahoma University Bronchos. The Ichabods faced their second loss at home this season, with the first coming from Northwest Missouri State University earlier in the year. Although Washburn lost, it was a great match for both teams.

The game started with a light breeze and a cool autumn temperature. Washburn, wearing their white, long-sleeve jerseys, took the field and kicked off to start the match. It started pretty even with both teams trading possessions in the first portion of the first period. Although there were only a few fouls, there was plenty of action in between.

The Ichabods took three shots in the first 20 minutes of the game, each attempt was thwarted. The Bronchos’ keeper stopped a total of four shots in the first half and five in the second. Washburn then received their first of four offsides calls they would receive throughout the game. All four offsides were close calls, and some may even have led to changing the score in the Ichabods’ favor. One shot from freshman forward Londyn Furnish was taken before Washburn received their second offsides call just one minute later. Washburn received yet another offsides call before the first point of the game was scored.

With less than two minutes remaining in the first period, Washburn was set up for a free kick just past midfield. The ball was sent flying into the air and dinged straight off the top of the crossbar, which was impressive in and of itself. The ball came down and fell right into the path of freshman forward Haley Rogers, who sent the ball past the Broncho keeper and into the net to make the score 1-0 going into halftime.

The second half turned out to be a much different story than what the Ichabods would have hoped for. Washburn started the game off with an offsides call – luckily, their last of the game. Central Oklahoma rushed down the field soon after and found themselves in good position to put their first point of the game up on the board. A tough shot from the side went past senior keeper Reagan Wells and into the net. Soon after, the Bronchos scored another goal with an impressive high curving shot from a corner kick into the top right corner of the goal, making the score 2-1 in OCU’s favor. With 2 goals scored quickly, a lot of pressure was put on the Washburn defense.

“I handle the pressure by relying on my defense. They trust me and I trust them and it makes me better,” Wells said. “They increased their energy, so we had to try and match that. That goal in the corner gave them momentum so we had to try and match that as well.”

With a one-point deficit and 35 minutes of play left, the Ichabods still had plenty of time to tie it back up. They fought and kept pressure on the Broncho defense, taking three consecutive shots before Central Oklahoma could regain possession. Both teams continued to fight back and forth for possession of the ball, each trying to gain an edge on their opponent.

With time running out, Washburn was forced to move one of their defenders up to be more aggressive on the offensive end of things – and it cost them. A long ball played by UCO made it to a Broncho forward who pushed the ball up the field in a one-on-one and scored another goal in the last two minutes of the game, making it 3-1. The Ichabods were officially down and out as the clock hit zero and the game ended with a loss for Washburn.

Although this game was a tough one to lose, Phillips said they are sticking to what they know.

“I don’t think there’s anything to change. We approach every game the same way … and we just need to compete with a winner’s confidence,” Phillips said.

Even though Phillips is upset with the loss, he still has a lot of confidence in his team.

“Soccer, more than any other sport, is a player’s game,” Phillips said. “There’s no timeouts; there’s no set plays that we run … Players just gotta figure it out and go.”

Washburn looks to put this match behind them and take a win Sunday, Oct. 16 against Newman University. Washburn only has three games left before the MIAA tournament, so every win is a big part of where they get seeded and how they perform in the playoffs.

Edited by Glorianna Noland, Justin Shepard