Women’s Soccer | The Wright State Guardian | Photo by Arden Reimer
The Wright State University women’s soccer season is over after the team fell to the Youngstown State Penguins in the Horizon League Tournament.
While the Penguins and Raiders had a similar amount of chances throughout the match, YSU had much more confidence, especially in the first half.
A rough tackle in the box gave Taylor Berry a penalty kick for the Penguins, giving YSU a 1-0 lead in minute 35. From there, the Penguins played confidently, holding possession and looking for more chances.
“Especially at our level, that’s the only difference in the game. When you look at the teams that are at the top end of college soccer, they play with that confidence because they’ve worked hard,” head coach Travis Sobers said.
The Raiders had chances in the second half but could not find the back of the net until it was too late. Berry made a second goal of the day in minute 86, but 30 seconds later, Michelle Rings scored for WSU with a penalty kick.
It was too late for the Raiders to recover, as the Penguins took the match 2-1, ending the Raider season.
“That’s been the biggest thing since I came to Wright State, it’s about finishing,” WSU midfielder Olga Massombo said. “We have the players and we have the chances, we just have to finish.”
WSU’s starting goalkeeper Jessika Seward echoed that the team must focus on finishing and being poised.
“I think the biggest thing for us is playing the way we know how to play and being confident,” Seward said. “Not panicking in the attacking 18 and just putting away our chances.”
Player awards and recognitions
Despite leaving early in the postseason tournament, the Raiders played well in the regular season. The HL recognized the team for these efforts.
Marcella Sizer highlighted WSU’s awards, earning Offensive Player of the Year from six goals and three assists throughout the season.
Masssombo joined Sizer on the All-League First team, as play on the wing and leadership helped develop the Raider offense throughout the year.
Lauren Borchert’s offensive efforts landed the midfielder a spot on the HL Second Team with four goals and an assist for WSU this year. Borchert was a scoring threat from anywhere in the attacking third.
Finally, freshmen Elise Canter and Kaylee Pham made the HL All-Freshman team, as both played significant minutes for the Raiders. Canter found four goals in a personal first ever season of collegiate soccer.
Meaning and future
An 8-7-3 record and a fourth place finish in the HL is not program-defining but is a start for a team that has not had a positive record since 2019. The early exit against Youngstown State is a disappointment, but WSU has to look to the future.
“Yes, we will make mistakes. Sometimes, it’s not going to be the way that we want it, but we’ve just got to keep going at it. The more we practice, the better we get,” Sobers said.