Oakland 1 NKU 2: Women’s soccer drops one in Kentucky

Oakland women’s soccer (4-7-1, 1-2-0) took a  2-1 loss on Wednesday, Sept. 28, when they faced Northern Kentucky University on the road.

After a spout of inclement weather that resulted in a brief delay, the teams took the field. The game was gridlocked at the start.

Fresh from two offside calls against NKU, the Golden Grizzlies took command of the ball. Driving deep into NKU territory, Vlad Gurovski let loose with a shot that flew high over the net.

Keeping with their new momentum, the Golden Grizzlies worked to maintain control of the ball. Cecilie Dokka descended on NKU’s net, creating a diversion and drawing the goalkeeper forward. Capitalizing on this opportunity, Alice Palmer rushed to assist her teammate.

Receiving a header from Dokka, Palmer successfully rifled a shot underneath NKU’s goalkeeper in the 20th minute, becoming the first to add a number to the scoreboard. Dokka got the assist.

Things seemed to be looking good for Oakland, but the NKU offense was determined to respond.

After three substitutions, NKU had some fresh legs in the game, allowing its defense to turn the tide.  Losing possession of the ball after their first goal, the Golden Grizzlies quickly went on the defensive.

Oakland appeared to be holding NKU’s drive-back well, until a series of five fouls presented a window of opportunity for NKU. A slew of NKU players charged Oakland’s net, overwhelming goalkeeper Alison Holland.

Concentrated on a drive that led toward the right corner of the net, Holland was unaware of the NKU player positioned 12 yards out at the top left corner. Consequently, that player received the ball and scored in the 32nd minute.

Attempting to regain control, Oakland substituted Lauren Bos for Ali Amante. NKU sustained their offensive efforts, keeping the ball in Oakland’s territory and continuing to pressure the goalkeeper.

The right corner proved to be troublesome for the Golden Grizzlies.

In similar fashion to their first goal, NKU swarmed Oakland’s net and generated confusion. This time the shot came from just five yards out, skipping by Holland and giving NKU a 2-1 lead in the 34th minute.

Hoping to rally before the end of the first half, Oakland substituted sophomore Emma Voelker for freshman Taylor Thalheimer.

Voelker and Aly Rawson sent one shot each toward NKU’s net. Voelker’s was saved. Rawson’s header went left.

Fresh from halftime, Oakland returned to the field poised and recharged.

After deterring six shots from NKU, the Golden Grizzlies regained the ball and led an attack. Mimicking the gameplay of the first half, Oakland created many opportunities for goals, but nothing held up.

“In the second half we were chasing the game a little bit,” said head coach Mags Saurin in a GrizzVision interview. “We certainly put them under more pressure in the second half and created some chances, but we weren’t able to convert those chances. We’ll take all the lessons we learned from this match and take those forward to the UIC match on Saturday.”