Women’s soccer survives road test

After a good start, the women’s soccer Lions seem to have hit a wall.

With a record of 4-3-1 before last Saturday, the women’s soccer team hit a rough spot but survived.

The Lions posted back-to-back ties against two difficult opponents on Saturday and Sunday leaving their record at 4-3-3.

Saturday’s game ended in a 1-1 tie against the University of Central Missouri, and Sunday’s game was a 1-1 tie against Truman State University.

Things could have been worse. Truman was ranked No. 22 in the nation at the time of the game and Missouri State has been ranked as high as No. 13 this year.

“Both of the games were on the road,” said head coach Trevor Wachsman. “And in both of those games we were down a goal kind of late and we were able to come back and tie the game before the end of regulation.

“We gave ourselves an opportunity to win the game. So those were decent results for us on the road.”

Both tying goals were made by Nikki Llewellyn, sophomore midfielder. Which earned her the Brine/MIAA Player of the Week. She booted an unassisted goal in the 82nd minute from 30 yards out to knot Southern’s match with UCM at 1-1. Llewellyn took a pass from junior defender Ashley Turner and scored in the 86th minute to forge a 1-1 draw the next day at Truman State.

He said his team feels like it could have won both of those games but he’s not absolutely disappointed with the way it turned out.

“We’re still in a position where we can make a run at the national tournament or the conference championship,” Wachsman said. “So we’re sitting pretty good. But we’ve got a lot of tough games still to go. And I’m still pretty happy with where we’re at.”

The two ties bring the Lions to 2-1-2 in conference. But that doesn’t discourage the players at all.

“We’re doing good,” said Megan Walker, sophomore forward. “We’re playing hard. We had a few bumps in the road and our record could be better but we still have a long ways to go, and I think we’re improving every game.”

Wachsman said his team hasn’t fared too badly in games outside of conference play either.

“Of the non-conference games we’ve played this year, three out of four teams we’ve opened up with were in the national tournament last year,” Wachsman said.

The Lions will have two home games this weekend. The first is on Saturday against undefeated Washburn, who is currently No. 13 in the country, and the second is Oct. 1 against Emporia State. Both games will be at 2 p.m.

The Lions will go on the road Oct. 5 for a 4 p.m. contest with Southwest Baptist in Bolivar.

Southern returns for a conference homestand Oct. 13-22. They will face UCM, Truman State, Missouri Western and Northwest Missouri State.