by Abigail Hintz
Cedarville women’s soccer dropped a hard-fought match to No. 25 Lee University Saturday afternoon in their second home game of the season. The Jackets are now 0-2-1, still looking for their first win of the season while the Flames leave Cedarville unbeaten with their third straight win.
Lee’s roster had full energy, even on the bench. Their sound drowned out the Jackets and their early aggression and energy paid off when they pulled out their first goal in just the 9th minute.
Cedarville didn’t fold, putting their first shot on goal up just a few minutes later after a great build-up and persistence after the shot.
Keeper Brooke Ackley was standing on her head as Lee was putting up build-up plays and shots from distance forcing her to be ready for anything. The Flames had seven shots and three on goal in the first 25 minutes.
The Jackets were down at halftime, not for lack of effort but Lee was simply outworking them in the midfield. Their passes were crisp, and their pressure forced multiple Cedarville turnovers.
Cedarville was making some uncharacteristic mistakes that weren’t helping their case. Their attempted through balls and field switches were often off the mark and ended up turning over possession.
The second half started slow for both sides but Cedarville was beginning to see more chances than they had in the first half. The final third was tough to breakthrough, however, so the stat sheet didn’t reflect the improvement.
Ackley made a monster save in the 63rd minute when a deflection left her 1-1 with a Lee striker but she got her foot out to stop the shot for her defense to clear out.
In the 66th minute, the Jackets equalized when the striker got on the end of a well-placed free kick with her head with just enough pace to sail right over the Lee goalkeeper’s head.
The Jackets were feeling it after that, playing great defense against a Lee team who was desperate to keep their win streak alive.
Unfortunately, they couldn’t break through and their offensive push left them exposed to the counterattack. Lee capitalized in the 85th minute to take the 2-1 lead with just five minutes to play.
Head coach Jonathan Meade gave credit to such a solid Lee side while also emphasizing how important winning is to his team.
“Some maybe poor decisions on our part gave them a good opportunity to get up on top,” said Meade. “But I was proud of the players, they came back and they battled in the second half and obviously we put the ball in a good spot where we could equalize.”
The Lady Jackets now turn their attention to this upcoming week which takes them on the road. They travel to Columbus on Thursday for a 5:00 p.m. contest with Ohio Dominican University before traveling to Ursuline University next Saturday for a noon kickoff.
Abigail Hintz is a senior Journalism major and the Editor-in-chief and Sports Editor for Cedars. She loves reading, playing Spikeball with her friends and watching soccer 24/7.