Seward Defends Net | Photo by Monica Brutto | The Wright State Guardian
Head Coach Travis Sobers landed one of the biggest wins at the helm for Wright State women’s soccer, as the Raider team took down the Milwaukee Panthers for the first time in seven years in its conference opener.
Despite the Panthers history of dominance over WSU in the past few years, it was the Raider team that got off to a quick start, dominating the play by sending the ball out wide and generating offense.
“It’s just doing the things that we’re good at,” Sobers said. “Keeping the ball, making sure that we get in areas where we can be dangerous, those one-on-one situations out wide.”
The Raiders won a corner kick from a ball sent wide in minute 16. Sophomore Olivia Mace sent the ball to the six-yard box and found Ashley Vaughn at the back post for WSU’s first goal.
MKE applied pressure to win a penalty kick and force WSU’s Jessika Seward to make an incredible save. MKE’s Natalie Auble was able to get through the WSU defense and slot the ball into the bottom corner.
“Milwaukee is always a team where we want to come in and destroy them, but they want to destroy us,” winger Olga Massombo said.
Both teams had many opportunities throughout the half, but it was WSU’s Lauren Borchert who broke the silence in minute 66 with a cut to the middle outside of the 18-yard box to find the right side netting.
“Keep an eye out for Lauren, she’s gonna try to finish. She’s a great player to watch,” Massombo said.
A great passing play from the Panthers gave them another goal slotted into the bottom corner, but Massombo took on a one-on-one against a MKE defender on the far side of the box, got separation, and found Alana Nesbit for the dagger.
The Raiders were able to hold off the Panthers for the next 10 minutes and close out the win.
“We have a bunch of players that represent University well and they’re looking forward to the challenge and embracing the challenge that we laid down to them,” Sobers said. “I’m very happy with the group of players that we have and hope that we just continue to build and continue to get better.”
Stopped By Seward
While the Raider attack stepped up to take the match, it was the goalkeeper Jessika Seward who held off the Panthers to secure the win.
When MKE’s Kayla Rollins, the player with the most goals in the league, stepped up to take a penalty kick in minute 22, Seward saved the penalty. The goalkeeper also totaled 8 saves to MKE’s 4. Milwaukee had nine corner kicks, which Seward and the defense kept out of the net.
Seward often came off the goal line to aggressively stop MKE’s attack, showing a lot of confidence as a goalkeeper.
“We’ve played some really good teams, and I just think as long as we play the way that we want to play and keep possession and just go out there strong, we can compete against anyone,” Seward said.
As the Raiders move forward, the roster is confident to flip the script from the troubles of seasons prior and compete in the Horizon League Tournament.
“Just wait and see, and watch out for us,” Massombo said, “We’re looking to be in a championship, so we’ll work hard. Hopefully, you’ll see us there.”
The Raiders head on the road to take on Youngstown State on Sunday, Sept. 18 at 1 p.m. ESPN+ will stream the game.