After an impressive Homecoming weekend against Algoma University, the Brock Women’s soccer team was ready for their next challenge. After outshooting Algoma 36-1 in two games, dominating them 6-0 and 7-0, Brock was sitting at 3-3-1 on the season.
Their next test came against the McMaster Marauders last Wednesday. The Marauders were 0-5-1 entering the game.
Badgers midfielder Alysha Bonany commented on her mentality going into the game, after a couple successful games.
“Just realizing that McMaster is a bit of a tougher competition, so we can’t really go in too hot headed about the weekend,” said Bonany. “I’ve been really focused just thinking about how I’m going to play individually and how that can come together with the rest of the team.”
Right out of the gate in the 7th minute, Brock’s Megan Salisbury led Brooke Boekestyn with a nice through ball, however McMaster goalkeeper Deanna Persico was able to get enough on the shot to put the ball wide of the net.
That would be the story of the game, as Persico would repeatedly shut down any sort of attack the Badgers would throw her way.
In the first half, McMaster outplayed Brock as the Badgers couldn’t seem to find consistency in their passing. Both teams had several attempts to score however, including a near goal off the head of McMaster forward Stephanie Roberts in the 32nd minute.
However, it was the 37th minute that had the biggest impact on the game. McMaster midfielder Jessie Faber was given a free kick just outside the 18 yard box. Brock’s defensive wall fell apart, and the ball snuck through and beat goalkeeper Marilena Spagnolo to the low corner.
The first half ended with McMaster up 1-0, and outshooting Brock 7-4. However the second half was different, as Brock began to find more of a consistent attack.
In the 40th minute, Brock’s Cassandra Stirpe was taken down by McMaster’s Roberts and frustration boiled over. After a bit of pushing and shoving, Stirpe was shown a yellow card.
In the 47th minute, Bonany took a shot from 25 yards out that went over the hands of Persico. However, the ball just narrowly went over the crossbar.
It was in the last 30 minutes that Brock put together several opportunities to tie the game. Once again however, Persico would stand tall and fight away any shot that came her way.
Brock’s closest chance to tie the game was in injury time when midfielder Alex Crawford put the ball just wide of the net on a partial breakaway.
Although Brock would end up losing the decision, Brock head coach Charles Ivanov was impressed with the way his team played in the second half.
“I felt in the second half we played with more heart, with more desire, created numerous goal chances, and unfortunately need to be a little bit more clinical at the end, a little bit more composed, to be able to tie the game and eventually win.” said Ivanov.
His message to his team afterwards regarding their next game was a strong one.
“Unfortunately we didn’t achieve result tonight, what we do from now on will define us. So prepare yourselves, let’s train well tomorrow and go in there and bounce back.” said Ivanov.
The Badgers played their second game of the week in Waterloo on Saturday, and this time the results were better.
Brooke Boekestyn led the way scoring a goal and assisting on another goal to Nadia Bathish in a 2-1 win over the Warriors. Spagnolo was impressive again for Brock recording another win. Ayson Osmansoy scored the lone goal for the Warriors.
Brock will continue their season on October 1 against the Windsor Lancers and then again on October 2 against the Western Mustangs. Both games are at Alumni Field and scheduled for a 1:00 p.m. start.
Nick Brayford, Sports Editor