By: Jordan Smith | Sports Writer
The Lady Bears opened season play at Betty Lou Mays Soccer Field Friday night where they cruised past the Purdue Boilermakers, 5-1.
With a delay due to weather, the fans and athletes alike had to wait it out. However, head coach Paul Jobson said that the delay did not hinder the Lady Bears from performing at a high level.
“You’re sitting there as a coach wondering how they’re going to handle it,” Jobson said. “Being at home is a better place to handle it than being on the road … However, we managed the pregame. Whatever they did to get themselves mentally ready was great. The delay didn’t affect them at all.”
The Lady Bears came out in the first half on the attack looking for opportunities to pounce on the Boilermakers, which they quickly did. In just over three minutes of play, sophomore midfielder Sarah King, with an assist from midfielder Julie James, scored the first goal of the game to put the Lady Bears on top.
Continuing to exploit their opponent with a variety of a wide attack game as well as a touch and go style offense, sophomore forward Lauren Piercy scored her first goal of the night to extend the Lady Bears’ lead.
Although extending their lead to 3-0, after a goal by sophomore forward Ariel Leach, the Boilermakers continued to battle, scoring to cut the Lady Bears down to 3-1 going into the half.
Continuing with the momentum from the first half, the Lady Bears once again started out fast and on the attack. Once again, Piercy connected with the net to put the Lady Bears up 4-1. The goal also marked her third goal of the season.
Minutes later, freshman forward Reagan Padgett extended the Lady Bears lead 5-1.
With all the momentum going their way, the Lady Bears ran away with this game. The final ended up staying at a score of 5-1 with the Lady Bears taking the victory over the Purdue Boilermakers.
Junior goalkeeper Sara Martinson’s night was pretty easy. The defense in front of her was spot on, which kept Martinson from having to do too much work in the game.
“My defense is absolutely incredible,” Martinson said. “I don’t know how they do it. They run 90 minutes long, and like you said, they didn’t even come into the penalty area for the first 18 minutes. So, that just really goes to show how strong those defenders are and how strong that midfield and that forward is. I mean, every girl on that team ran, on their team and on ours which was really cool to see.”
“So, you had these defenders that just, like, shut it down and did their job so well tonight, and you know that’s the cool thing is that that’s what they do every night, and so tonight you got to see it, and everyone got to enjoy that tonight,” Martinson said.
One of the big stars of the night was Piercy, who had two goals in the game. Part of the reason for her success was the constant use of the wide attack and touch-and-go play style.
“It finally started clicking really well, and now that we know how we wanna play, even if we play direct, it still works for us because we’ve got the speed up top,” Piercy said. “If we wanna play possession, we have the midfielders to play possession. We have the forwards and defenders, they know how to control the ball, and overall it’s just like, whatever we wanna play, it works out because we’ve just been working at it, grinding at it.”
The Lady Bears next test comes at 5 p.m. today at home against the University of the Incarnate Word.