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Lady Soccer Team Comes Away with Conference Win

by Molly Guidette

The Oberlin Womenıs soccer team got the bounce they needed last weekend, taking a 2-1 win over Earlham in their first conference game of the season to put the team at 2-2 for the season.

After three uncertain and sub-par performances before this Saturdayıs game, the win came as a relief and a confirmation of the teamıs skill and cohesiveness. The women held possession for the majority of the game, and out shot Earlham by more than three to one. Oberlin kept the ball on the offensive side much of the first half, and they used each otherıs strengths to keep Earlham on their heels.

Sophomore Courtney Stackhouse scored in the first 10 minutes of the game, allowing the Yeowomen to work from a position of strength without letting down or becoming cocky. The matchup between Earlham and Oberlin was a close one, and Oberlin was not likely to forget the 7-0 defeat they suffered last year to Earlham.

The outside midfielders kept the ball moving up the wings, giving junior Becky Kanuch and Stackhouse numerous opportunities on goal. In the first half, more of those would have translated into goals had more luck gone Kanuch and Stackhouseıs way.

In the backfield, senior Meg Ansara and first-year Mara Brecht led a tight defense, repulsing most of the Earlham offensesı attempts to penetrate the goal. Brechtıs numerous spectacular headers out of the back prevented a few possible breakaway attempts by Earlham.

The second half looked especially strong after the break, as the Yeowomen seemed to win every ball, and came together as a cohesive unit. Passes went where they needed to, and it was less of a struggle for every play. One fan in the bleachers announced: ³They look like they know what theyıre doing out there!²

A let-up further along in the half was a wake up call for Oberlin, as Earlham gained control and in a slow, deliberate drive down the field,scored their first and only goal. Oberlin seemed to be snapping out of a dream as they restarted, playing every ball with determinatoin to take what theyıd earned.

³We werenıt afraid,² said junior co-captain Lissa Green-Stark. ³Everyone was stepping up. Weıd been playing timid, getting down on ourselves, but everyone was

really pumped for Earlham.²

As the clock ticked down into the last minutes of the game, neither team consistently controlled the ball. Despite a few breakaways by Stackhouse, Oberlin was unable to score. A few close calls in Oberlinıs defensive half made for exciting, but nerve-racking moments.

Finally, with less than four minutes left in the game, Kanuch put an unassisted shot into the back corner of the net. Earlham never recovered.

Obviously exhilarated by the momentum the win will give them as they head into tough conference games this week and for the rest of the season, the Yeowomen have proved that they have what it takes to be a driving force in the league.

Hopefully their game will continue to reflect strength and energy. If they can keep their momentum, it should carry them well into Saturdayıs match against Bethany.

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Copyright © 2000, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 129, Number 2, September 15, 2000

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