Women’s soccer on four-game win streak, in pursuit of Horizon League title

The Oakland women’s soccer team is on a roll, to say the least. After tying seven of its first 12 games, the team has reached deep and found a spark maybe even it didn’t know it had.

The Golden Grizzlies defeated Northern Kentucky on Thursday, 1-0, to advance to 6-2-7 overall on the season. The win over the Norse marked the team’s third win a row, the first such winning streak of the season.

Oakland outshot Northern Kentucky, 14-4, which included a 10-0 shot differential in the first half. One of those 10 first-half shots included a goal from Carmela Barro in the 20th minute — her second of the season, and the fourth of her career.

Once again, Noëmi Stadelmann didn’t have an exciting day in goal — which is typically a good thing. Northern Kentucky only recorded four shots, and only two of those four were on target. 

Stadelmann easily saved both shots on goal, which preserved the shutout. Stadelmann’s blanking of Northern Kentucky marked the ninth shutout that Oakland has pitched so far this season.

Not only did Oakland defeat Northern Kentucky, though. The Golden Grizzlies kept the momentum going with a 3-1 victory over Wright State on Sunday afternoon. Oakland once again outshot its opponent, this time by a margin of 19-13.

Sophie Wilsey (third of the season), Alexa Sabbagh (fourth of the season) and Jules Karkaba (second of the season) all made scoring contributions in the win. 

Wright State was able to get one ball past Stadelmann, which hasn’t happened often as of late. Prior to Sunday’s match, Stadelmann had pitched four straight shutouts, which is equivalent to more than 360 minutes of game action without allowing a goal. 

Oakland, which extended its winning streak to four games on Sunday afternoon, now finds itself in a four-way tie for second place in the Horizon League. The Golden Grizzlies currently sit with a 4-1-3 record in the league, which is good for 15 points. Each team is awarded three points for a win and one point for a tie. 

At this point in time, Purdue Fort Wayne, IUPUI and Wright State are all at 15 points, as well. However, Oakland holds an advantage over IUPUI and Wright State.

Oakland has currently played eight conference matches, but IUPUI and Wright State have played nine. Theoretically, this gives Oakland a full extra game to either tie or win, thus giving it a point advantage over either of the two aforementioned teams. 

Perhaps the biggest match of the season is approaching this Saturday, Oct. 22. Oakland will travel to Milwaukee to take on the league-leading Panthers. 

Milwaukee currently leads the league with 17 points. If Oakland can knock off Milwaukee on Saturday, it should control its own destiny as it relates to winning the regular season Horizon League championship.

Oakland’s theoretical three points with a win over Milwaukee would give the Golden Grizzlies 18 points, while the Panthers would still be at 17.

The Golden Grizzlies will finish off the regular season with Detroit Mercy, which currently has a 4-4 conference record. 

If Oakland is able to look ahead and see what’s on the horizon, maybe it will reach a little bit deeper, and that spark will turn into a flame.