The UT women’s soccer team split two contests against Western Michigan and Northern Illinois last Friday and Sunday.
For the reigning MAC champion Rockets, the conference play was in full swing this past weekend. It was an opportunity to snag two important conference wins at home.
The first match of the weekend took place Friday when the Rockets went back and forth with the Broncos of Western Michigan. Western would strike first with a goal early in the first half, when Grace Labadie notched her first score of the season to give Western a 1-0 lead.
Western remained hungry for a potential game-sealing second goal, as the Rockets were struggling to get good shots on goal. Nine minutes later, Western scored that potential game-ending goal when Bailey Kohorn netted a beautiful goal from around 18 yards out.
With the score at 2-0, in Western’s favor, the Rockets needed quick scores.
Hannah Scarfia played hero for the Rockets for a time. With a measly 14 minutes left in the game, she scored her ninth goal of the season to cut the Western lead to 2-1.
Within 3 minutes, the Rockets were attacking again. Elbony Rodriguez came up with a huge assist to Scarfaria, who again put one in the back of the net to tie the game at 2-2. Scarfaria’s 10 goals on the season leads the Rockets.
The heroics of Scarfia was all for not. With a few minutes left in the contest, Western Michigan’s Morgan Otteson sent a corner kick that connected with Colleen Mckay who sent a header right past the hands of Rockets’ goalkeeper
Madison Perrin, giving Western the 3-2 victory at Scott Park.
“We had good resilience today, and to be down two goals and fight back to get even was awesome,” head coach TJ Buchholz said. “We battled and wanted the game but we just didn't get it. It's disappointing, but we learned from it and I think that we're getting stronger in a lot of spots. We just have to bounce back against NIU.”
‘Bouncing back’ was the theme going into Sunday’s contest with Northern Illinois and the Rockets did not disappoint.
Northern Illinois marched into Scott Park searching for their first MAC win of the season.
Sophia Lewis set up Scafaria with a great lead pass that led to the seniors 11th goal of the season and a 1-0 lead early in the game for the Rockets.
Lewis and Scafaria’s impact on the match did not end there, however. Both of them remained integral in the Rockets’ success.
The next score for the Rockets was when fourth-year Regan Price took her only shot of the match. This unlikely score resulted in a 2-0 Rockets lead early in the match.
Before the game got out of hand, the Huskies struck back on a penalty kick from Kyleigh Dominguez, making the game 2-1.
From this point on, though, it was all Rockets. The second half featured three straight rocket goals. One from Rodriguez, and two from Lewis. Lewis finished the match with two goals and two assists. Scarfia would add a goal and an assist as the Rockets well-balanced offense would prevail 5-1 over the Huskies.
This win pushed the Rockets’ record to 6-5-1 on the season thus far, including a 2-2 mark in conference play.
The next match for the Rockets will take place at 4:00 PM Oct. 4 in Ypsilanti, Michigan against Eastern Michigan. This match will be yet another tough conference game for the Rockets.