| Women's Soccer Battles Key Rival Spalding
The ladies tested their 4-4-3 record at home on Wednesday, October 20 in a key conference match.
#3 Patrice Riesenberg moving to score
The Louisville-based team's conference record slipped after a 3-1 loss to the Lady Mountaineers in the late portion of regular season play. In a pre-game interview, Coach Marcos Daros noted, “Spalding is another strong team, we have to face and play our best against, so we can improve our chances in [the] conference tournament." Those chances look good after impressively aggressive play against Spalding. Controlling the game's pace and continually forcing scoring opportunities, the lady Mountaineers kept Spalding on the defensive for most of the contest. The score, not particularly reflective of the quality of play, was affected by ill-timed penalties that took away as many as three Berea goals in the late second half.
Taking the lead early, Berea forward Joyce Wicker posted a goal in the first minute of play. Maintaining offensive pressure, number fifteen Lacey Bostick tacked on another Berea score before the half and the ladies cruised into halftime with a shutout. The second half resulted in a more aggressive Spalding squad, but not enough to overcome the ladies relentless offensive pursuit. Midfielder Bethany Kershner, in a goal zone tangle with Spalding defenders, posted one more score before game's close.
As the tournament looms only two weeks away, coach and players are well aware that the season ends with three straight conference games. Games against Brescia and Midway round out the season on October 23 and 30.
The heart of Daros' strategy to finish strong is simply dedication and attitude. “First of all you have to 'desire' that win, and you have to keep that spirit and attitude throughout the whole 90 minutes of the game. Winning or losing is a consequence of teamwork, with the right attitude and motivation" commented Daros. Spearheading the effort, Patrice Riesenberg (#3) and Anna Hoone (#6) are among those specifically mentioned who can help capture what Daros calls the elusive "true win".
A September 11 match against the top conference ranked Bethel College, in great part, defined the season's tempo. Battling into overtime against the Wildcats, Berea came away shorthanded in a 1-0 loss. The contest was a clear signal that determination would pay off as the ladies came just short of taking the top conference spot. According to Daros, problems that contributed to the season opening loss have remained the same throughout the year.
"We lack players with enough experience in a forward position, comfortable facing the opponent’s goal, and having enough technical and mental preparation to score." Daros added. Lack of depth in the offensive third seems to be a particular challenge, but practice time has been particularly effective in improving less- experienced players. Increasing depth from the bench will lie with the newly motivated freshman recruits. ”The main goal for our program was, and still is, to become capable of dealing with all sorts of demands [and] playing hard, but clean. In this sport, winning or losing is a consequence of teamwork, with the right attitude and motivation." Based upon last night’s impressive effort, that attitude will definitely carry them far.
The men's team also decisively defeated Spalding on Wednesday with a 4-0 win. On a three game win streak since defeating Wilmore-based Asbury on October 13, the men have extended their record to 7-4-1. Strong play from Mohammed Aiyegbo netted 3 of the four goals with the fourth coming from Senior Hallel Parsons. This impressive streak has ironically come on the heels of the injury and subsequent loss of top player Mzwandile "Muzi" Ginindza on October 11.