DePauw Challenge Cup Recap

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Freshman Forward, Shaili Kumar, and the Women’s Soccer team lose to Thomas More on Tuesday. PHOTO COURTESY OF LINDA STRIGGO.

The DePauw women’s soccer team suffered a 4-1 loss to Washington University and won against University of Wisconsin-Whitewater 4-0 in their matchups of the DePauw Challenge Cup. The team’s season record is now 3-4-0. 

In day one of the tournament, the Tigers and Washington University Bears both began the game with high energy, prepared for a highly competitive matchup. 

“Before the game against WashU, we wanted to push ourselves to compete with a team of their capability. It was a really good test for us and everyone was excited for the challenge going into the game,” said junior Alex Wendt. 

The Tigers were able to shut down Washington University’s offensive advancements until the end of the first half when the Bears scored their first goal in the 37th minute. 

The Bears scored two more goals before halftime. 

Although the scoreboard read 3-0 at the start of the second half, the Tigers were not willing to alleviate pressure and kept a determined mindset. Fifty-five minutes into the match, senior Alex Berkley sent the ball to sophomore Allison Harvey in centerfield, who was able to push past the Bears last defender and score a goal to put the Tigers on the board. 

DePauw’s persistence was not enough for them to recover from WashU’s ability to control and move the ball into the Tiger’s defensive end. There were nine minutes remaining in the game when the Bears scored their final goal, and the game concluded 4-1. 

Day two of the DePauw Challenge Cup provided the Tigers a chance to redeem themselves at Reavis Stadium against the UW-Whitewater Warhawks. A combined total of three yellow cards and 21 fouls were distributed, proving the intensity and physicality of the game. Alex Berkely and Sarah Bird received yellow cards.  

The aggression coming from both teams fueled DePauw’s desire to take full advantage of every offensive attack. Senior Shaili Kumar grabbed possession of the ball from a rebound in the Warhawks 18-yard box and quickly passed to the feet of Alex Wendt. Wendt scored towards the end of the first half, giving the Tigers their first successful shot after 4 failed attempts. The score remained 1-0 until the buzzer went off.

The Tigers ran with the momentum and energy obtained from the first goal. They continued to test UW-Whitewater’s defensive line and goalkeeper in the second half. Sophomore Abbie Morris used her speed to bring the ball all the way up the right side of the field before crossing to Wendt in front of the goal. Once again, Wendt was able to put the ball in the back of the net, only 40 seconds into the second half.

Wendt didn’t stop there. Eleven minutes later, back in the Warhawks box, sophomore Allison Harvey played a perfect ball between the last defenders of UW-Whitewater and set up Wendt’s third successful scoring attempt. Wendt’s hat trick upped the score to 3-0, giving the Tigers reassurance that they could finish the game with a win.

“Scoring a hat trick felt great. Coming in, I knew I wanted to make an impact. It felt a little unreal to score 3 goals in one game, in the best way,” Wendt said.

The final action of the matchup took place with 4:05 left on the clock, the Tigers still pushing to create chances in the attack. Senior Jenna McCarroll had an unassisted goal, gaining control of the ball off a rebounded save by UW-Whitewater. 

After a tough loss to Washington University on Saturday, the women felt great walking out of Reavis with a 4-0 win for their final game in the DePauw Challenge Cup on Sunday. 

Wendt said, “When we focus on the small things we do really well. Sometimes we get frantic, but when we are composed and move the ball we do our best work. It doesn’t stop here and we want to keep the momentum going forward.”

The Tiger’s next competition will be an away game against Aurora University on Sept. 21 at 3:30 p.m.