By Marc Weems
On Friday, the Youngstown State University women’s soccer team lost by a score of 3-0 to Oakland University. The Golden Grizzlies are the reigning Horizon League champions.
YSU and Oakland were scoreless through the first 76 minutes of the game before Oakland’s Sydnye Gagner scored to put the Grizzlies up 1-0.
Shannon Leghart, a senior defender, spoke about the team’s defense before Oakland scored.
“It was huge for us to see that we worked really well together,” Leghart said. “The mid’s [midfielders] were able to drop back and pinch like they need to. I think we played so much as a team, and it truly helped out defense. We were smart to get out of the back to be able to hold them.”
In the 77th minute, Gagner scored her second goal of the game, hauling in a long pass from Cecilie Dokka. This put Oakland up 2-0 at the 77:17 mark.
Immediately after Oakland’s first goal, YSU forward Alison Green responded with what seemed to be a goal of her own but did not count. That goal would have tied the game at 1-1 but instead from that point, Oakland went on to score again.
“Once I saw the ball coming, I just ran in and thought that maybe I could just slide in. I could try and tap the ball past the goalie,” Green said. “Maybe something like that would work, but they apparently got there faster than the ball. They kicked it away and I was very upset about that.”
With the loss, YSU has been outscored 12-2 in its last three games. Green talked about the defense’s ability to try and spark the offense.
“I think being a forward and being able to watch the defense instead of being in it, it was really nice to see everyone connected,” Green said. “Once we started passing well, once we started doing all those things, we all played with a lot more confidence. We also had a lot more intensity, especially in the Oakland game.”
After Gagner scored twice within a minute, Oakland midfielder Lauren Bos scored at the 88:50 mark to close out the game. Leghart talked about Oakland’s streak of scoring goals that prompted their 3-0 victory.
“I think our head coach Fabio [Boateng] talks a lot about the three things you need to win games. Those are your preparation, your motivation and your luck,” Leghart said. “I think they got the better of the luck on Friday. I think it just kind of got the best of us. We tried to rebound as best as we could but they just got some chances on us and got the best of us.”