Elmhurst College’s women’s soccer team defeated annual rival Dominican University 4-2 in the opening game of the season at Langhorst Field on Thursday Sept 1.
The Bluejays enacted intense defensive effort, which kept the Dominican Stars’ offensive flow in deadlock for most of the game. Taking control of the game with defense was a primary goal for the Bluejays.
Before the game, Bluejay head coach Paul Webster was adamant that defense was the key to victory.
“We have to defend on all fronts.” he said. “We aim for defensive pressure tonight, and scoring will come in turn. We’re here to play the game and learn how to play our game as a team.”
Sophomore midfielder Brittany Reinhart scored for the Bluejays 17 minutes into the first half. Her goal was assisted by senior midfielder Courtney O’Keeffe.
The Stars’ response came about eight minutes later as their first goal was scored by freshman forward Josseline Williams. The goal came after senior goalkeeper Emily Gordon blocked a shot and Williams quickly rebounded the miss and shot again to beat the already grounded Gordon.
Junior Bluejay midfielder Kim Stanczak led in scoring with two goals, one being near the end of
the first half with about 64 seconds left on the game clock before halftime, the assist attributed to Sidney O’Keeffe.
During halftime, Elmhurst President Troy VanAken commented on the number of fans that showed up to see the season opener.
“What excites me the most right now is the turnout in the stands,” he said. “It makes me really happy to see the students, friends, and family members out here cheering for our women on the field.”
After halftime, the Bluejays went on to score three more unanswered goals. In her first game as a Bluejay, sophomore midfielder Emma Krick was able to shoot a 30-yard shot past Dominican sophomore goalkeeper Pamela Ruiz after a quick juke on a defender to create space.
Less than five minutes later, Stanczak scored her second and the final Bluejay goal of the game with an assist from sophomore forward O’Keeffe.
The visiting team was able to
score one last goal with about 15 minutes left in the game. Junior Dominican defender Lexi Kiotis was able to take advantage of an Elmhurst defensive lapse.
Third-year forward Genevieve Kapecki was injured near the Elmhurst goal while putting a complete halt to one of the final Dominican possessions of the game.
According to the physical therapist on the field, she suffered a bone contusion on her left ankle.
The Dominican player later approached Kapecki after the game as the physical therapist was working on her. The Dominican player asked Kapecki if she was okay before apologizing.
With the season opener ending with a big win for the home team, the lady Bluejays prepare for their next battle that will take place September 3rd, against the visiting Olivet College.