After notching their first win of the season Thursday against Marian, Women’s soccer took a step back, as they were shut out by the Centre College Colonels 2-0 Saturday night at Reavis Stadium.
“Centre was a good team who definitely challenged us,” said sophomore midfielder Kelsey Cobbs. “They were big, strong, quick, and we haven’t played a team yet this season who were equally as skilled.”
Head coach Megan McCormick agreed.
“We knew what to expect going into the match, and Centre lived up to the scouting reports,” she said. “The work rate and fitness of every player that stepped on the field for Centre was tremendous.”
The Tigers (1-3, 0-0) were only able to get off three shots while the Colonels totaled 17, with 10 of those shots challenging DePauw keeper Emma Cooper. Both of Centre’s goals came from senior forward Katie Stevenson.
“I thought it was a fun game to play,” said Cooper, who made eight saves in the losing effort. “I hope to play them again some time in the future.”
Although the team had limited opportunities to score, there were missed chances that could have pulled the Tigers even with the Colonels.
“We had opportunities up top which we unfortunately did not put away, but we had segments offensively that were very impressive,” Cobbs said.
Despite the team’s slow start and additional loss Saturday, there’s much to be optimistic about in regards to the progress the team is making.
The second half of the season has traditionally been much more kind to the Tigers. Last year, DePauw lost its first four games before going 10-5 for the remainder of the season. The year before, the Tigers lost the first seven games before proceeding to finish the season winning seven of their final 12 contests.
Besides taking note of the DePauw’s tendencies over the past few seasons, there were positives that can be taken away solely from the loss to Centre
“This game we were able to stay more organized compared to the last game,” Cooper said. “Our mental focus was better as well, allowing us to remain organized until the very end of the game.”
“We stopped them on counter attacks, and we were very effective in keeping our shape to avoid breakdowns in the midfield,” Cobbs said.
Players are confident that, despite the outcome, the game will help down the road as the Tigers open conference play on Sept. 20.
“I think for future games and teams similar to Centre, a big piece of the puzzle is improving our speed of play,” Cobbs explained. “We have been working on getting up as a team for the attack and hopefully we will be more successful in getting the ball in the back of the net for future games."
Along with improving the team’s speed of play, McCormick also intends to work on avoiding crucial mishaps on the field.
“Our focus in training this week will be…cleaning up some individual defensive mistakes,” she said. “As we move forward, our decision making in transition needs to improve to prevent costly turnovers that expose our back line.”
The Tigers look to bounce back from the loss as they take on undefeated Thomas More College at home this Friday night at 7:30 pm.
Starting with the game against Hiram on the Sept. 20, the Tigers will play nine of their 10 remaining games within the NCAC.
Cooper, along with the rest of the team, welcomes the challenges in the Tiger’s schedule.
“We aim to continue to improve as a team,” Cooper said. “And of course we aim to win.”