The Northwestern women’s soccer team played their first GPAC match of the season this weekend. After a well fought game Midland ended up on top with 2 goals to Northwestern’s 1 goal.
Saturday’s match kicked off the Raiders season on Midland’s turf. The Raiders came out strong for the first half proving to be a good match for Midland. When junior defender Kati Hill went down on a knee injury in the second half, the direction of the game began to shift.
Hill’s injury inadvertently led to the Raiders formation switch from a 4-4-2 to a 3-4-3. “We had been practicing the 3-4-3 all week,” said Senior midfielder Alyssa Duren, but the Raiders had not yet tried this formation in a game before Saturday. Within a short period of time Midland placed two balls in the back of the net leaving the Raiders behind at 2-0.
“We switched up the formation to generate offense but ended up doing the complete opposite.” said head coach Benjamin Karnish. The Raiders change in formation exposed holes in their defense for a short amount of time, but the Raiders refused to hang their heads after the goals.
With 5 minutes left in the game, Senior Midfielder Jo Jensen sent in a cross that was headed in by Senior midfielder Alyssa Duren. The Raiders ended their first GPAC game of the season with a score of 2-1 for Midland to bring the Raiders record to 3-5-1.
“Now that we understand the two systems we play, we can play against any team in the conference to match their style of play.” said Karnish. The Raiders have the strategy and the tactics laid out for their next couple of games. “If we do the small things right we can do the big things well” said Coach Karnish. The Raiders are eager to move forward this season to challenge any opponent that steps in their way.
This Wednesday, the Northwestern women’s soccer team played their second GPAC season game against Briar Cliff. Briar Cliff earned a goal within the first half, and despite their efforts, the Raiders were not able to put the ball in the back of the net. The match was a battle to the finish, but unfortunately for the Raiders, Briar Cliff came up on top with a score of 1-0.
This Saturday, the Northwestern women’s team is hoping to earn their first conference victory against Doane on the Raiders home field for homecoming.