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The Student News Site of Ferrum College

Iron Blade

Women’s Soccer Takes Close One Over EMU

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  • Bri Bitz, junior, prepares to launch one toward the goal.

  • Jadyn Patton , sophomore, brings the ball upfield after stealing it from an EMU player.

  • Kayla Fedison, junior, clears the ball out of the box.

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It looked like it would be an easy night for the women’s soccer team.

Bri Bitz, junior, scored off an assist from Kayla Fedison, junior, in the first six minutes, and it appeared as though the women would cruise to a comfortable victory over Eastern Mennonite University Wednesday night.

The team did win 1-0, but despite 33 shots on goal–15 of which were on frame–the Panther offense possessed but struggled to score more points. Credit also the EMU goalkeeper who recorded 14 saves on the evening

“We need to develop that killer instinct,” Head Coach Erin Saleeby said post game. “We played really well. We kept the ball well. We possessed the ball well. We went through the midfield really well. It was just the final third that was the issue.”

She also said that in games past, the team struggled to find the midfield, but not Wednesday.

“We did a much, much better job of doing that tonight,” she said. “Defensively we were very solid. We didn’t let anything really come through. They got a couple corners, but that was pretty much it.”

Indeed, the Panthers held the Blue Lions to only one shot on goal, and goalkeeper Ashli Wuss snagged the one attempt to keep it out of the net and record the only save she and the team needed on the night.

“In the first half, we took what they gave us,” Saleeby said “They gave us the wide space, and we are not a particularly good team in the air. A cross is not something we are usually going to finish. The goal that we did have was a nice ball back into the six, and that’s what we work on from time to time–but not crossing, and that was frustrating because that’s not how we are going to score goals. We were just playing in the wide spaces too much.”

Saleeby also said she and the team were already looking toward tonight’s matchup against Virginia Wesleyan. Both coach and team expect a tough battle for the game that begins at 5 p.m. this evening at home.

“There’s some things we’ll have to change to suit the style of play they have,” she said. “They will play a 4-4-2, so we’ll shift to handle two forwards. Sometimes it’s difficult to have four backs with two forwards, because they’ll stay on the center backs, so we want to have three of them back. But also, we want to focus on recovery before Friday.”

Although EMU is in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC), the contest was not considered an ODAC game, so it did not count toward conference standings.

“Unfortunately, we don’t play everybody in the ODAC,” Saleeby said. “We play an unbalanced schedule because we have 13 teams–so we don’t play EMU and we don’t play Shenandoah. So when they do the drawing, there’s two teams we don’t play (Sweet Briar is currently on probation in an attempt to rebuild its program.)”

The win brings the Panthers to 5-1-1 for the season, with ODAC play beginning tonight.

 

 

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