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OU soccer teams struggle against KWU

By Alejandro Villegas
On November 6, 2013

The Lady Braves lost 2 to 1 after scoring first against Kansas Wesleyan University on homecoming night, Saturday, Oct. 26 at People’s Bank Field.
After volleyball and football defeated Southwestern College with ease, it was the time for both soccer teams to face the inspired Coyotes.

First, the Lady Braves jumped all over the Coyotes defense to take the lead in the sixth minute of the second half on a corner kick by sophomore Morgan Trupp and a header by junior Jordan Tapia.

The Coyotes, however, reacted fast with a furious comeback in less than ten minutes. Five minutes after Tapia’s goal, Kelsey Strang tied the game, and four minutes after Strang’s goal, Melissa Martinez scored the Coyotes’ second goal on a pass from Kate Salmonsen.

The Lady Braves stayed on KWU’s field for the rest of the game, shooting multiple times, but without finding their way to tie the game.

After a substantial effort, the Coyotes kept the goal unbeaten for the rest of the second half and remained undefeated in conference with their seventh victory in the KCAC with no losses or ties.

Ottawa suffered its second loss in conference, falling to a five wins and two losses record in the KCAC.

Junior Jordan Tapia said her emotions were all over the place after the loss against a rival team like the Coyotes in such an important game.

“I was angry and sad all at once,” Tapia said.
For Tapia, those minutes of confusion after her goal cost them the game.

“We kind of entered into panic mode and everything was frantic,” Tapia said. “They definitely gained momentum on us and they just capitalized on two lucky opportunities in such a short period of time.”

Tapia was not pleased after what she saw after the game.

“The way they celebrated on our field after the game just added more fuel to the fire,” Tapia said.

It is a real possibility that these two teams face each other soon at the conference tournament. “We’re going to come out hungry the next time we meet them,” Tapia said.

Finally, Tapia said she thinks the pressure and excitement might have affected them a little bit.

“I just feel like this game was such a big game. It’s usually our most hyped game of the season, and with that comes nerves,” Tapia said. “Now we just have to focus on the next two conference games. We have to win those and secure third place.”

On the other hand, right after the Lady Braves’ loss, the Braves could not decipher the Coyotes’ defense and both teams stayed scoreless for 110 minutes.

The Braves controlled the game and attacked during most of the contest, while OU’s defense controlled the Coyotes’ forwards, but it was just not enough to get the victory.

The Braves had a shot to win in the last play of the overtime when junior Tyler Smith crossed the ball and senior Sean Hammond shot it.

However, the Coyotes’ goalkeeper, Blessing Ngwa, made the game saving save and the game ended up with a 0-0 tie.

Senior Casey Waniska said he really thought they were going to score one goal.

“I think we may have lacked a finishing touch,” Waniska said. “We couldn’t quite find the finish that we needed.”

Waniska said they deserved to win the game.

“We just needed a little luck,” he said. “We were missing that lucky bounce or little deflection and they came up with some big saves and goal line clearances. The tie isn’t a bad result for us, but we are a little disappointed to don’t have come away with the win.”

Senior Robert Rodriguez had the same feeling.

“We could have beaten them. We played as a team and executed the game plan,” Rodriguez said. “Our defense, midfield and forwards had a great game. All we needed was a goal, but unfortunately luck wasn’t on our side.”

Waniska said they were definitely close to winning and if the game had gone any longer they would have done it.

“We just ran out of time. It was a good game for us, we played well,” Waniska said. “ Kansas Wesleyan is a pretty good team but I’m confident that we will beat them if we play them again.”

Rodriguez said he was happy with their performance but he wishes they could have beaten the Coyotes.

“It felt good having a good amount of fans supporting us,” Rodriguez said. “That definitely helped us a lot to keep fighting. We have two big games coming up. Our last home game and senior night is this next Saturday. Hopefully we can get another great group of fans to support us.”
Waniska said they are looking forward to and preparing for their next game against Tabor on Saturday, Nov. 2.

“We will be looking to get a big result against them on senior night and to take another step toward the playoffs,” Waniska said. “We are going to come out with the same intensity we have been and we’ll do everything we can to get the win. We have a great group of players and I think the best is still to come for us.”

 

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