Red Storm women’s soccer aim for win at final game

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The women continued to hit as hard as they could against California Baptist University and Azusa Pacific University last week, but they didn’t hit hard enough.

The Dixie State College women’s soccer team faced off against CBU on the Lancer’s home turf in Riverside, Calif., Thursday, and freshman midfielder Megan Marchbanks was able to net one goal in the 72nd minute.

Senior goalkeeper Abby Johnson, an integrated studies major from Escondido, Calif., made seven saves, but unfortunately the Lancers got four goals into the Red Storm’s net. CBU took the win 4-1.

“It’s frustrating, obviously,” Johnson said. “The hardest part about it is that we’re not to our full potential. We were able to gel so well earlier in the season, and it’s not happening the way we’d like it to now.”

The loss put DSC at 6-8-2, 6-6 in the Pacific West Conference.

The Red Storm was hoping to break its losing streak against APU, but the Cougars bested them 3-0 at Saturday’s game in California. This puts the DSC women’s soccer team at its seventh consecutive loss. 

Sophomore forward Jennifer Mason led with four shots, but the Red Storm never found the back of the net. 

Johnson made eight saves, but the defense wasn’t enough to keep the Cougars from scoring two goals in the first half and finding the back of DSC’s net again in the second.

Head Coach Linda Huddleston said there were several obstacles to overcome in the APU game, and not all of them had to do with the team.

“There are several considerations,” Huddleston said. “We’ve had some injuries, we’ve had some illness, and we’re playing the top teams in the conference. Azusa had 11 seniors on their team, and we have three seniors.” 

Huddleston said in addition to APU’s senior lineup, the California team members were also larger than many of the Red Storm players. The referees at the Cougars’ field allowed a different type of game to be played than Dixie was used to.

“We play a different style of soccer than these teams,” Huddleston said. “The referees let them play really rough. We need to be tougher. Yes, they’re bigger, they’re knocking the heck out of us, the refs aren’t calling anything, but we need to play our soccer.”

For the three seniors playing for the final time at DSC, the game means more than just ending on a win.

Senior defender Dacee Stephens, an integrated studies major from Logan, said her final game will be the one where she and her team pull their expertise together. 

“We have the talent, we have the skill, we have everything,” Stevens said. “We just need to put a full 90-minute game together. Now it’s finally ending, it’s finally done…(and) we’re ready for it. We’ve been preparing all week.”

Johnson said she hopes the younger women will learn to savor each game.

“What we’ve come to realize is how fast it goes by,” Johnson said. “The majority of the team still has two years to go after this. In reality, they have to play each game like it’s their last. That’s one thing we’ve tried to instill (in them).”

DSC now ranks 6-9-2, 6-7 in the Pacific West Conference, and the Red Storm will have their chance to break their losing streak at the last game of the season Nov. 3 at 7:30 p.m.

“We would love everyone’s support,” Johnson said. “It makes a world of difference. I don’t know if people realize that it helps having someone to play for.”