The St. Catharine Women's Soccer Reserve Squad traveled to Montgomery, Alabama to kick off the season with games versus Andrew College on Saturday and Faulkner University on Sunday. With majority of the squad being freshmen and playing their first collegiate match, it looked to be a tough test for the young Patriots.
Against Andrew College, the team played a spirited match, controlling the play for the majority of the game and outshooting their opponent 17 to 8 for the game. Despite several good opportunities, the Patriots hit the crossbar two times and were still tied a 0 after 60 minutes of play. In the 62nd minute, Paige Clark played ball into the box for Porshia Clark, who was able to slot it home between a defender and the goalkeeper to put the Patriots up 1-0. Nine minutes later, Erin Jones capped off a long dribbling run by putting away her first collegiate goal to make the final score 2-0 in favor of St. Catharine. Madisen Phillips, playing her first collegiate game in goal, earned the shutout.
On Sunday, the Patriots faced what promised to be a tougher opponent in host Faulkner University. Faulkner started strong immediately, pushing the ball into the Patriots end of the field and earning a shot that was just wide. Slowly, the Patriots answered the challenge and began to assert some pressure of their own. A see-saw battle ensued for the remainder of the half and well into the second period as both teams earned chances, but were turned away by strong goalkeeper play. In the 72nd minute, a through pass was run onto by Macy Higdon who found herself at the top of the penalty box with only the Faulkner goalkeeper to beat. Higdon slotted it low to the corner to notch her first collegiate goal and what would become the game winner. Late in the game, trailing by 1, Faulkner pressed hard and took 5 shots in the last 10 minutes. Several missed the mark, and Patriot goalkeeper Maggie Grieser made several big saves to preserve the shutout and the win for the Patriots by the score of 1-0.