Tigers blanked by Birmingham-Southern and Ohio Northern

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Junior Megann Lear dribbles through the Birmingham-Southern defense in Friday night's loss.
ABBY MARGULIS / THE DEPAUW

It wasn't easy for the DePauw University women's soccer team to see moving forward after they dropped their two opening matches to Birmingham-Southern University and Ohio Northern University by a combined 5-0, but players and coaches alike are pleased with the results.

“We didn't get the results we were hoping for, but we certainly improved as a team,” said Megan McCormick, head coach of DePauw's women's soccer.

And that’s what it’s all about for a relatively inexperienced Tigers squad going through a transitional period. After 24 years at the helm, John Cooper stepped down and gave way to his assistant, McCormick. The Tigers are also adjusting to their new home, Reavis Stadium.

“Simply reading the stat sheet would certainly suggest that, but the stats from the games certainly don't tell the whole story,” McCormick said.

First up for the Tigers was Birmingham-Southern on Friday night. Two first half goals scored less than five minutes apart helped the Panthers spoil opening day.

Two more tallies in the final 45 minutes ended the Tigers' opening game in a 4-0 loss.

Senior goalkeeper Emma Cooper was peppered with 11 shots on goal, totaling seven saves.

Round two of the DePauw Classic didn’t go the Tigers’ way either. A Shelby Stephens goal midway through the first half was all the Polar Bears would need as they hung on for a 1-0 win.

Cooper was solid in the net for the Tigers, stopping all but one of the eight shots she faced.

For a second straight night, the DePauw offense struggled to get going. The women tallied only two shots throughout the evening, with none of them challenging Ohio Northern keeper Emily Brodict.

“It's not necessarily that both teams did certain things to not allow us to do anything, it's that we're still adjusting to everything and seeking out our potential,” sophomore Elizabeth Seewer said. “Both teams were very good technically so that hurt us at times but we will work on things this week at our training sessions to prepare for Thursday.”

Despite the struggle finding the back of the net, the team is in a defensive mindset as they begin to prepare for their matchup with Marian University on Thursday.

“Right now we are in a defensive state of mind, that's all we've been practicing,” Seewer said. “Once we get that mastered, the attack will come easy to us.”

“Yes, I'm disappointed we haven't put a goal on our record for our regular season games yet but it will come to us very soon,” Seewer would go on to say later. “It will be a domino effect once we score that first goal, we just have to knock the first domino down.”

The first domino might not be too far away, as the Tigers’ next opponent, Marian College, allowed over 3.5 goals per game last season.

To prepare for that game, the Tigers will have to build on a solid second half against Ohio Northern.

“We were able to establish a rhythm of play in the attack and created some really dangerous chances,” McCormick said.

The match against Marian is scheduled for Thursday at 7p.m. and will be the third of a six game homestand.