John Brown Universiy freshman Sarah Frey opened Saturday’s game against Benedictine with an early shot just two minutes in. Seven minutes later, sophomore Savannah Beth would send her own strike at the Raven’s keeper, setting an aggressive pace.
“I thought the first half went really well,” Senior Casey O’Brien said of her team’s initial forty five minutes. “We prepared for this team tactically, which helped us to win and possess the ball a lot. I thought we competed with them and created a lot of opportunities in the attack.”
The Golden Eagles’ defense held throughout the first half and kept the Ravens’ scoreless with junior Kristen Morency making four saves and the back line holding strong.
However, the Ravens came out swinging to start the second half, sending one shot wide and forcing Morency to make another save within the opening three and a half minutes. Morency would go on to save a total of eight goals– her record so far this season.
JBU matched the Ravens’ pace with O’Brien, Braydi Frederick, Lauren Tonkovich and Sara Lachance all sending strikes at the Ravens’ keeper. The defense held until the fifteen minute mark when the Ravens knocked a shot off the crossbar that the referees would rule a goal. From there, Benedictine controlled the game and would score again four minutes later to increase their game-winning lead to 2-0.
“This was a great match up, and Benedictine is a quality opponent,” Coach Kathleen Paulsen said of the game. “I thought we had moments in the first and second half where we were brilliant in the game, both defensively and offensively. Overall, I thought we executed our game plan well. But there was a five minute spell in there after their first goal, where we took a pause, and that moment really hurt us as they capitalized in that moment. We will learn from it, we will grow from it and we will move forward as a team.”
The women travel to play Southwestern Christian in Bethany, OK next week.