Gators top Wooster in playoffs

Women’s soccer bounces back after falling to Ohio Wesleyan

Contributing Writer and Sports Editor
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After surrendering their number one conference seed last weekend to Ohio Wesleyan, the women’s soccer team scored three times in seven minutes in their first playoff matchup against Wooster Wednesday afternoon.

“All that we can do is move on,” said Head Coach Mike Webber. “It won’t help to dwell on the loss.”

The Gators looked to bounce back against the Fighting Scots after 2-0 loss to the Battling Bishops on the road. In that matchup, the squad struggled offensively.

“We had to take a lot of outside shots, since we couldn’t seem to break past OWU’s last line of defense,” said senior Alex Gordon. “We did what we could with the opportunities we were given.”

Coach Webber and his team used the loss to their advantage, finding ways to improve and prepare for their first playoff game of the season.

“The good thing about the game is that we could see where we needed to improve,” said Gordon. “It’s hard to dig deep mentally so late in the season.”

The Gators had no problems on Wednesday, shutting out Wooster and returning to their strong defensive presence.

Prior to the first Ohio Wesleyan goal on Saturday, the Gators had held their opponents scoreless for 748 minutes of play.

“There was a bit of a breakdown on the field after that first goal,” said Webber. “We usually don’t allow goals that early to happen.”

Deadlocked for the first 70 minutes against Wooster, the Gators returned to their defensive prowess while looking for opportunities on the offensive end.

Those opportunities came in a ten minute stretch, with goals by juniors Katrina Gazsi, Dayna Rowe and Ashley Lehr.

Senior Emily Karr, who holds the school’s single-season and career record for shutouts, had four saves on the day. Karr currently ranks fourth all-time in Division III for shutouts.

“We knew that we deserved to win this game against Wooster,” said Lehr. “The loss against OWU reminded us how it felt to lose and we knew that we didn’t want that feeling again, so it motivated us to come out as hard as we could against Wooster.”

Assistant Coach Linda Schirmeister credited the girls for playing to their full potential against Wooster.

“I think the girls finally did what they’ve been practicing all year,” said Schirmeister. “They really came together on the field and played to the ability that they’re capable of.”

Lehr also mentioned the impact of the home field advantage.

“Playing at home meant a lot because we got the chance to have a lot of fans, no traveling, and we could each do our own pregame routines,” said Lehr.

The Gators will face number one seed Ohio Wesleyan Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on the road. The team hopes to rebound from their loss and keep their momentum going.

“I think we just need to improve on being consistent. We need to do what we did against Wooster against OWU.”

“Going into the next game, I have extremely high expectations,” said Lehr. “We know that we can beat OWU, we just have to play with a lot of heart and finish on our opportunities.”