USD women’s soccer picked up their first two conference wins of the season over Oral Roberts (7-9) in Vermillion Thursday and Western Illinois (2-10-1) in Macomb, Ill. Sunday.
USD vs. Oral Roberts
The Coyotes opened the scoring early with three goals in the first 25 minutes in a cold, wet game against Oral Roberts. Junior Amanda Carpio began the attack by guiding a cross from junior Taryn LaBree into the net in the 12th minute.
LaBree followed up her assist two minutes later by taking a loose ball from a corner kick and scoring.
Sophomore Alexis Mitchell scored her first goal of the season in the 24th minute by slotting a penalty kick into the bottom right corner of the net.
The Golden Eagles got on the board in the 67th minute when Junior Jordan Langebartels scored a penalty kick, but couldn’t do any more damage, and the Coyotes took the victory. 3-1.
Senior Parker Rytz tallied 2 saves while facing 11 shots. Senior Coral Suarez was brought on following an injury to Rytz in the closing minutes of the first half, however, Rytz was able to start the second half.
USD commanded the ball in the first half, outshooting Oral Roberts 5-1, but failed to keep the pressure on in the second half, getting outshot 10-3. Head Coach Michael Thomas praised the team for their hot start.
“I was really proud of the women for coming out and getting on them early and looking excited to play,” Thomas said.
Conditions were less than ideal, with temperatures in the low 40’s and a wet playing surface. Labree and Rytz said the team’s mindset was one of their biggest strengths for the game.
“I think it’s just keeping a mentality that they play against the weather, we play against the weather, the refs play against the weather,” said Labree. “I think it’s just running our game plan for 90 minutes. When we run our game plan we’re a good team.”
“Everyone was very cognizant of the wet weather,” added Rytz. “We were really able to focus in and do what we needed to do. We call it ‘doing the all the time things all the time’.”
Thomas echoed the women’s sentiments.
“There’s a lot of distractions that they could get sidetracked with, with D-Days coming up,” Thomas said. “It’s a testament to the focus of the team that they were able to put that aside and be ready to go right away. It may not have been the best day to sit and watch soccer, or the best day to coach soccer, but it was a fine day to play soccer.”
USD at Western Illinois
The Coyotes began a three-game road stretch in Macomb, Illinois on Sunday, defeating Western Illinois 2-1. The script was flipped for this game, as the Coyotes fell behind early before scoring two goals in the second half.
Senior Madeline Edwards struck first blood for the Leathernecks in the 22nd minute.
The Leathernecks’ lead would hold until the 62nd minute when LaBree scored her team-leading 5th goal of the season. According to GoYotes.com, Labree leads the team in points with 13 on the season.
The Coyotes secured the win in the 81st minute when Junior Kellee Willer took a pass from Freshman Tiannah Moore and scored the 3rd game-winning goal of her young career.
USD totaled a season-high 24 shots with 12 on target during the contest, compared to Western Illinois’ 6. The win improves the Coyotes’ record to 7-4-2 and 2-1 in conference play.
LaBree led the team in shots with 5 while Willer and Moore both added 4. The Leathernecks tallied 10 saves as opposed to USD’s two.
The Coyotes will continue their road trip against SDSU on Thursday and Omaha on Sunday.