Women’s soccer splits pair of games

Christian Miller and Sam Schlenner

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Oakland women’s soccer (4-5-1, 1-0-0) split a pair of games this Friday and Sunday, clinching a 3-0 win at Horizon League opponent YSU State (2-5-1, 0-1-0) on Friday and losing 1-0 at Central Michigan (8-0-0, 0-0-0) on Sunday.

W 3-0 at Youngstown State, Sept. 16

The Golden Grizzlies displayed their offensive ability with 22 shots to YSU’s 12, 10 on goal to YSU’s six. Oakland led the stats in corner kicks, five to YSU’s three.

Oakland established their offense early in the game and peppered YSU’s goalgoalkeeper Katie Montgomery with three shots during the first four minutes. The team’s defense worked to keep the ball in YSU territory.

Senior defender Aly Rawson kept up the early momentum with a header that deflected off the goal post.

YSU returned with two shots in the 10th minute, but two fouls offered Oakland an opportunity to capitalize.

Regrouping, Oakland coordinated two strikes on YSU. The first, by senior Alice Palmer in the 18th minute, resulted in a shot landing high. Sophomore Lauren Bos followed in the 21st minute, ripping a shot that landed wide outside the net.

The Golden Grizzlies played aggressively, garnering 12 fouls and four yellow cards during the game. The Horizon League opener for both teams was a test of wits, with all goals coming late in the second half.

Oakland returned focused and refreshed from halftime.

In the 48th minute, Bos was first to penetrate and fired a shot that was saved. Her teammates followed and capitalized on YSU’s weaknesses, maintaining pressure and forcing a corner kick in the 54th minute.

Following up her own corner kick, sophomore Sydnye Gagner was the first to break the gridlock with a goal in the 77th minute. Gagner then netted her sixth goal of the season in the 78th minute. Both goals were assisted by Cecilie Dokka and Vlad Gurovski.

YSU rushed to answer, but despite a substitution and three shots on net, the team’s drives were stifled by the Golden Grizzlies in the backfield.

“I’m really happy with our performance in the back and with our goalkeeper making sure that we come away with a clean sheet,” Head Coach Mags Saurin said in a GrizzVision interview with Dan Gliot.

Goalkeeper Alison Holland provided a defense on par with her team’s offensive efforts.

With five saves, the redshirt senior recorded her second shutout of the season.

Rearing from an offside call, Oakland gathered for one final push on the net. The fate of the game was sealed when Bos scored in the 89th minute, assisted by Gurovski.

“Once we scored the goal, I’m really happy that we kept our foot on the gas and continued to create and put two other chances away once we put that first one in,” Saurin said.

She offered only praise.

“I thought we did very well tonight,” she said. “Obviously a three-nil victory is fantastic, especially on the road. You always want to try to pick up points on the road.”

L 1-0 at Central Michigan, Sept. 18

Central came out aggresive, garnering two headers and corner kicks in the first eight minutes.

Palmer managed a header in the 18th minute that went high. Central countered with two shots in the next three mnutes.

It was scoreless going into the half. The goal came in the 58th minute. Central’s Taylor Potts shot from the top of the box and landed it in the upper right corner of the goal.

Palmer followed up with a couple of shots on goal in the 75th and 78th minutes, but they were saved by Central goalkeeper Kristen Knutson.

Oakland had a couple more tries in the 85th and 88th minutes, but Sydnye Ganger and Ali Amante’s shots went wide.

Central shot 15 total to Oakland’s seven and got six on goal to Oakland’s two. Holland played all 90 minutes and made five saves.

“Until the last maybe fifteen minutes or so, we didn’t create enough,” Saurin said. “Although we had a lot of possesion, I don’t think it was possesion with a purpose.”

That’s practice this week.

“[We’ll] take a lot moving forward to prepare us for some of the more aggresive, more physical conference opponents and learn from it,” Saurin said.

Oakland resumes conference play at home against Cleveland State at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, Sept. 24. It’s Homecoming.