Women’s soccer picks up year’s first conference win

Danny Spatchek, Sports Editor

Lakeland forward Lindsay Rogers scored the game-winning goal in the last five minutes against Concordia University-Chicago to hand the Lakeland women’s soccer team their first Northern Athletics Conference (NAC) victory of the season Sept. 19 in River Forest, Ill.

The Cougars struck first when Lyndsay Dyal slid a ball past Lakeland’s freshman goalkeeper Ashley Sarbacker, but Rogers, a junior, equalized with her first goal of the day in the 39th minute.

“The girls came ready to play today,” women’s soccer coach Tony Pierce said. “It was a great team effort and Lindsay did tremendous work on top and put two goals in for us. We had a ton of balls across the face of goal but didn’t put them away. Lindsay finally capitalized for us to win the game. We were so excited at that point because we knew we were in good shape to finish the game.”

Sarbacker made four saves in a game where the Muskies out-shot the hosts 20-11.

“We identified five teams that we thought we should win [against], that we think we’re definitely better than. If we can win those five games and go up against the teams in the top half of the conference, then we’re in good shape,” Pierce said.

The women conceded a goal in the second minute and lost Sarbacker to injury eight minutes later en route to an 8-1 loss at Beloit on Sept. 23.

Sarbacker suffered a concussion while scrambling to cover a loose ball in the 18-yard box. Senior Whitney England replaced the freshman and made six saves.

“Ashley’s been a big part of our success. As a goalkeeper, she’s solid and the girls really rally around her. [Ashley] also allows us to have Whitney on the field, so it kind of let the wind out of our sails when Ashley went down and Beloit jumped on us,” Pierce said.

“Whitney really stepped up for us tonight,” Pierce added. “She saved us a couple of times and I give her a lot of credit for coming through in the goal for us.”

Junior midfielder Kristina Borts ripped a ball into the Buccaneers net in the 89th minute to deny Beloit the shutout.

The women suffered their worst defeat of the season Sept. 25 when they fell 13-1 to Dominican in River Forest, Ill.

“We knew Dominican was one of the tougher teams in the conference. They knocked the ball around well and we gave up some goals a little bit too easy. I think that hurt us spirit-wise.”

The Stars scored six goals in the first half and continued to attack a Muskie side with just 11 available players.

Dominican, now 5-0 in the NAC, outshot Lakeland 42-3 and had a 9-2 advantage in corners.

England made 10 saves for the Muskies.

Rogers put the Muskies on the board in the 89th minute with a hard shot into the top shelf of the goal.

“We’ve been playing most of the season with 11, 12, 13 women, and we’ve been battling all year long and we never gave up and we’ve kept fighting. In the last five minutes we scored a goal against Dominican. We have the potential to be a good squad, and we can be, in a ball game with anyone in conference. Unfortunately, we’ve been fighting injuries—fighting for numbers—so our margin for error is zero. We need all of our girls healthy to be competitive,” Pierce said.

Lakeland hosted Ripon Sept. 29 and will host Rockford in a NAC match Oct. 2 at 11:30 a.m.

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