Tuesdays are weird days to start a season. It’s a school night so many students are in their dorms finishing up homework. But three teams saw action tonight and I was able to catch various parts of their matches. These are my observations and opinions.
Women’s soccer- I started off the evening looking forward to an intense match against Illinois Wesleyan. I wasn’t disappointed as the Titans kept the ball on the Wash. U. side for the first 25 minutes. Despite that, the Bears came back and pressured the Titans. Wash. U. had an advantage of 8-4 in corner kicks.
Offensively, Wash. U. knows what to do. They just need to finish as there were several moments when a goal could have been scored. The Bears kept fighting and didn’t give up at the end.
Defensively, all the parts were there. But one lapse erases the previous shutout effort. Look to senior back Libby Held for some long range free kicks on goal. One shot from 50 yards out hit the top of the crossbar. One inch lower and it would have been a goal. The defense also kept the pressure up so Illinois Wesleyan didn’t have many quality shots on goal.
Volleyball- I missed the first match against Harris Stowe but I saw all of the Greenville match. There’s still some jitters to work out but the team looks good. Sophomores Kristen Thomas and Erin Kasson have really strong kills. Senior Vicki Blood seems comfortable at setter and the team in general is not giving up till the final whistle.
My first impressions of freshman Kelly Pang at libero are great. She’s everywhere, possesses great court awareness and I look forward to seeing what she and the freshmen class bring to the program.
Men’s Soccer- I caught the last ten minutes of regulation and both overtimes. Wash. U. fans voiced their outrage and felt robbed.
There was one moment in regulation where it appeared as if Wash. U. had scored to have the call overturned due to the head official failing to notice a protest by one of the linesmen.
This happened again in overtime on a beautiful play. From where I sat in the stands, it was impossible to tell if it was offsides but Wash. U.’s offense kept Illinois Wesleyan on their toes. John Smelcer did an amazing job in goal with a career tying high of 10 saves. Zach Hendrickson also has a great bicycle throw-in that sent fans to their feet. I also enjoyed seeing the WUSTL FC fans decked out in body paint and showing their pride.
Full stories will be in Friday’s issues. Again, please note these are my observations and opinions. Feel free to argue or agree. If you are visiting the site from outside the St. Louis area, take advantage of the streaming videos of various home games at bearsports.wustl.edu.