The Patriot Women's Soccer team traveled to Louisville for a spring scrimmage versus Spalding University yesterday. With several key returning players out for spring sports, injuries and exams, the team traveled with only 16 players out of a possible 24. Despite the lack of depth, the Patriots played a strong game and showed solid teamwork, good defense, and some individual brilliance during the scrimmage.
In the early part of the match, St. Catharine looked a little nervous with a few turnovers and pressure defense by Spalding had the Patriots a little rattled. Emily Belt, starting in goal for the Patriots made several solid saves and scooped up a few through balls before they could become dangerous. After about 8 minutes of the play, St. Catharine settled in and began to show some life on the attack. Several opportunities were thwarted by the Spalding 'keeper. Near the midpoint of the game, a great combination of passes slipped Nicole Schowalter in behind her defender. She sent a near perfect cross into the near post for Amanda Schabell to head onto goal. Spalding's goalkeeper came out and made a play to prevent the goal.
During the latter portion of the game, Spalding maintained control in the St. Catharine end of the field and had several corner kick opportunities. However, the Patriot defense held strong and the score remained 0-0. The last 15 minutes saw the Patriots on the attack again. Several looks at the goal were denied until a clever chip by Kindsay Miller-Riney allowed Amanda Schabell to slide behind the Spalding defenders and head home the first goal of the match with 5 minutes remaining. Spalding would get one last chance to tie the match up with a blistering shot from 25 yards out on the Patriot goal. Jerrica Kidd, having subbed in at goalkeeper midway through the game, made a great save and parried the ball over the crossbar to maintain the shutout.
Patriot Coach Paul Patton, happy with the 1-0 result, commented, "It was a strong match from both sides. However, I was pleased that we found a way to score and get the win. After a tough campaign this past fall, to end the spring on a positive note gives us something to build on as we try to improve. The team has been positive and the chemistry has been good all spring. The communication on the field has been improving the past couple of weeks, and for the team to play this well with several of our returners out was a good result. We'll let the players focus on finals and try to finish off a great recruiting class in the next month and hopefully we'll come back strong this fall!"