Women’s soccer defeats UIC 1-0

The victory improved OU’s record to 5-10-2, with a Horizon League record of 3-3-1. The victory moves the Golden Grizzlies into fifth place in the Horizon League standings.

Alice Palmer and the Oakland Golden Grizzlies defeated the University of Illinois-Chicago during Saturday night’s Pink Day to support women in sports by the score of 1-0.

The Grizzlies are now 2-2-0 in conference play and starting to build a little momentum.

“It was a really well executed game plan. We [other coaches] talked to the girls about taking care of the flanks, and getting a lot of chances from there,” Oakland head coach Margaret Saurin said.

The team did generate those chances winning the majority of the 50/50 balls and turning that into added pressure on counter-attacks.

Oakland outshot UIC 7-3 in the first half and ended the game ahead 16-6 in that category.

Junior Alice Palmer had six of those shots and scored the game’s only goal when she found herself in front of the net and bested UIC goalie Kelly Fritz on the right side.

“I think it was a great performance by everyone. It’s everything we worked on all week, and it is finally starting to show in our game,” Palmer said. “It’s getting us the result we need.”

Saurin is pleased with the win, but knows the team has improvements to make.

“We wanted to get the three points; that’s the most important thing,” Saurin said. “We’re right back in the mix.

“We’re able to create chances, but not we’re not finishing them. We are getting more people in the box, which is something we’ve hadn’t done enough of in the past. We just need to be more clinical in front of goal.”

Palmer almost had her second goal of the night minutes after her first goal on a cross from teammate Claudia Krupicz, but she was unable to get a clean foot on it.

Cecilia Magos had a good chance for UIC in the 38th minute, and really didn’t see another until the second half. 

Samantha Messina forced Oakland goalkeeper Alison Holland to dive to her right to prevent the equalizing goal. Holland recorded her second career shutout, finishing the night with three saves.

Golden Grizzly senior Jenna Taylor didn’t have any touches in the game, but played a big role in organizing the night for the team. It was Pink Night at the soccer stadium to help raise breast cancer awareness and it was Taylor who helped get it going.

“I really wanted to do a “women in sports day” because sports mean so much to me; it helped me bond with my dad,” Taylor said. “I don’t know what I would do without it and becoming a collegiate athlete made it even bigger for me.”

“I just wanted to share that with other girls and inspire them.”

The Golden Grizzlies travel to Wisconsin to take on the Milwaukee Panthers next Saturday.