After finishing 12-7 and missing postseason play last season, Missouri Western women’s soccer team fell 2-0 in their season opener to Lindenwood on Friday night at Spratt Stadium.
The Griffons have a relatively young team this year, as there isn’t a single senior on the roster. Lindenwood took advantage of its experience, as the Lions had 13 shots on goal opposed to the Griffons’ two shots on goal.
“They got a few more shots than us, but that’s going to happen this early in the season when they are more experienced than us,” Western coach Chad Edwards said.
The only goals of the night happened in an 11-minute span in the final 18 minutes of the first half, as junior Amanda Orlando and senior Sammi Gregory gave Lindenwood its only lead of the game.
“I think they were just executing more in that final third. You got to give them credit, they took advantage of our mistakes, but they weren’t super dangerous,” Edwards said.
While the Griffons gave up two goals late in the first half, the defense was pretty strong all game long. Sophomore goalkeeper Anna Mayer finished the night with 12 saves.
“She’s a heck of a player and we’re glad to have her, she kept us in the game,” Edwards said. “We’re going to make sure once she comes off those big saves that we take advantage of it and use that momentum on the other side of the field.”
After an uncharacteristic season that ended before the playoffs last year, Western has been ready to get back on the field and prove what they can do.
“It felt good to get back out there,” Mayer said. “We’ve been waiting for this ever since our last game last year that left a bad taste in our mouths. It was exciting to get back on the field to reprove ourselves with a new group of girls.”
With the loss to Lindenwood being just the first game of the season for the Griffons, they know that there is still a long season ahead of them and to keep moving forward.
“Take it and learn everything we can from it. Don’t sulk on the past and move on to the next team. We just have to keep working hard and try to get to our goal by the end of the season,” Mayer said.
The Griffons will look to bounce back from Friday night’s loss when they host Rockhurst University on Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. at Spratt Stadium.