Women’s soccer falls in regular season finale

Matthew Saulino

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The Oakland Grizzlies (9-8-1, 4-3) were shut out by the Milwaukee Panthers (8-8-1, 6-1) Friday, Nov. 1 by the score of 1-0 on OU’s senior night.

The Grizzlies eight seniors were honored at midfield and by their families on the sideline before the game.

“It’s always bittersweet when you don’t come away with the win,” head coach, Dave Morgan, said. “Even though this was their last regular season game on this field, the beauty is the last game, they can come back and redeem themselves.”

Friday’s game had implications on who would have home-field advantage for the tournament. With a win for OU, and a loss or tie from Wright State, the Grizzlies would host. With a win by Milwaukee, the Panthers would play at home.

The Grizzlies lost despite a seven-save performance from senior goalie, Payj O’Shea.

“I’m so excited,” O’Shea said. “Obviously this game didn’t turn out the way we wanted, but that just opens up the field for us to take advantage for the games we didn’t pull out.”

The first-half goal was the first O’Shea has allowed at home since Oct. 5.

The game’s only score came 12 minutes in from Milwaukee’s Vienna Behnke. At first she was stripped of the ball by OU defender, Katrina Stencel, but gathered control to put it past O’Shea.

Oakland had a few chances of their own, on shots from Kyla Kellermann and Meghan Reynolds.

“In the first half we really couldn’t get our offense open,” Reynolds, the team’s leading goal scorer, said. “We weren’t used to the fast-paced style, and we didn’t get the balls through that we needed to.”

OU outshot the Panthers in the second half, and that’s where most of their opportunities came. 

Reynolds had a shot stopped from outside the 18’, and Kellermann bounced one off the post.

“They were able to get one in on us early,” Morgan said. “It’s not like we didn’t have our chances, and Kyla’s got a little unlucky, I think it might be her fourth or fifth post on the year.”

OU finished the game with 11 shots, five of which were on net. The Panthers outshot them with a total of 12, eight being on target, with the first one going in.

OU will host Youngstown State Tuesday, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. in the Horizon League Quarterfinals, with hopes of a rematch versus Milwaukee.

“They’re all disappointed, this is not the way they wanted the game to go tonight,” Morgan said. “I am sure they are going to push themselves to get a rematch versus Milwaukee, I believe in them and trust them, and we’ll recover tomorrow.”

You can find more on the Horizon League bracket on the league’s website, www.horizonleague.org