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Soccer: Lady Raiders Claim Victory in Home Opener

Women’s Soccer vs Southern Indiana | Photo by Bethany Althauser | The Wright State Guardian

After returning home from an Arizona trip, the Wright State University women’s soccer team hosted the Screaming Eagles of the University of Southern Indiana for the first home game this season.

Heating up

The Raiders went 0-2 in Arizona against Arizona State University and Grand Canyon University, where both games finished with a 4-0 final score. 

Eager for its first win of the season, WSU took the field for a very physical matchup. Due to the excessive heat in the area, both teams took water breaks after the first 25 minutes of each half. 

The Raiders would not let the heat prevent them from starting early. In minute 19 of the first half, fifth year senior Marcella Sizer scored the opening goal to take an early 1-0 advantage, ending a two-game scoreless drought. Junior Olivia Mace took the credit on the assist to Sizer.

Sizer led the Raiders in goals scored last season with six total. 

“I knew coming into this game I wanted to score so bad,” Sizer stated following the win. “Having eight goals against us to none is a crappy feeling.” 

Both teams started the game slowly in the first half, struggling to maintain possession and connect on passes, especially passes downfield. 

Despite producing six shots in the first half, Sizer’s goal would be the lone goal of the match heading into halftime. 

Wrapping up

Following halftime, both teams came out with a lot of urgency and tempo in their style of play.

In minute 54, senior Lauren Borchert would add to the Raiders’ tally, scoring on a pass downfield from Mace, who recorded her second assist of the match. 

Mace picked up right where she left off last season by recording two assists against Southern Indiana after leading the team with six in 2022. 

“I just look for where my open players are, and I connect a lot with our forwards on and off the field, and that helps a lot with being able to find them and know their runs,” Mace mentioned. 

Southern Indiana would quickly respond, scoring in minute 58 to draw within one. 

The Screaming Eagles allowed six fouls total with three occurring in each half. The physicality of USI kept the game close and left spectators anxious for the end of the match. 

After some late rallies from the Screaming Eagles, WSU managed to hold on for a 2-1 victory in the home opener. 

Senior Kiera Sarka recorded three saves, while junior Erin Baker recorded four saves and allowed one goal. 

“I think we came out really aggressive in the first half. We were getting forward and creating opportunities,” Head Coach Travis Sobers added after the victory. “Credit to Southern Indiana, they changed their tactics and played more direct and caused us some problems, but we battled through and settled the game down.”

WSU followed Thursday’s victory with a 0-0 draw at Central Michigan University on Sunday. The Raiders now sit at 1-2-1 in the early season and will travel to Morehead State University on Wednesday before returning home to host the University of Dayton on Sunday. 

Both games this week will begin at 6:00 p.m. on ESPN+. 

Adam Campbell

Sports Reporter

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