With two big wins women’s soccer secures Challenge Cup
The No. 10 Washington University women’s soccer team picked up two big wins against DePauw University and Rhodes College as part of the DePauw Challenge Cup. In a weekend of goals galore, the Bears built on last Sunday’s victory over Transylvania University and have now won three games straight, improving to 5-1-1 on the season.
The Bears opened their weekend of play Saturday in Greencastle, Ind. The Bears’ offense came out firing, outshooting DePauw 13-0 in the first period. In the 38th minute, junior Ellie DeConinck got her first of two goals on the day, putting the Bears up 1-0 with seven minutes to go in the half. A second goal came very soon after. It was DeConinck again, this time finishing her shot off a pass from senior Taylor Cohen. The Bears were not done after those two quick strikes. In the 43rd minute, a third came for the Red and Green, as Cohen capped off the first half with a goal of her own, putting the Bears up 3-0 going into halftime.
The second half proved to be more of the same, as the Bears continued to unleash shots on the DePauw net. DePauw did not go down easy, stealing a goal back in the 56th minute as sophomore midfielder Alison Harvey cut the Bears’ lead to 3-1. Still, Wash. U.’s continued pressure paid off, with junior Kristen Reikersdorfer restoring the Bears’ three-goal cushion in the 81st minute off Cohen’s second assist of the day. The Red and Green then ran out the clock to end Saturday’s game on top 4-1.
The Bears continued their weekend on Sunday against Rhodes. Wash. U. did not waste any time: Cohen slotted away her first opportunity of the game with a goal in the second minute. After nearly 20 more minutes of attacking pressure from the Bears, the Rhodes defense broke again, as sophomore Ariana Miles put away the Bears’ second goal of the match. Seven minutes later, Reikersdorfer netted her second goal of the weekend, an unassisted shot that brought the score to 3-0 before halftime.
After a first half loaded with goals, the Bears searched for a fourth in order to fully put the game to rest. In the 61st minute, the goal finally came, as sophomore Gabbie Cesarone put the nail in the Rhodes coffin with a cool and composed finish. The Bears won, 4-0.
While this weekend’s focus was on the Wash. U.’s offensive outburst, the Bears’ defense has continued to perform. Sunday’s shutout against Rhodes was the fourth of the young season, and the team held its opponents to just eight shots over the two games. Wash. U. allowed just one corner kick all weekend long, and Bears’ goalkeepers were forced to make just four saves.
Wash. U. will host No. 6 Wheaton College on Wednesday in a rematch of last year’s NCAA quarterfinals, when the Bears defeated the Thunder, 2-1.