Penguins seek hope over the Horizon

Maddie Kiester against Cleveland State at Krenzler Field. Photo by Dylan Lux / The Jambar

By Dylan Lux

After a historic start to non-conference play, the Youngstown State University women’s soccer team’s season ended before the start of the Horizon League tournament. A 4-2-1 record in non-conference marked the teams’ best start in program history.

With wins over Saint Francis University, the University of Akron and Duquesne University, YSU started the season 3-0 for the first time since 2012.

Returning home for their next contest, Canisius University snapped the Penguins’ win streak as the Golden Griffins held a 1-0 lead throughout the match.

In its next three contests, the team would tie, win and lose to The George Washington University, Indiana State University and Valparaiso University, respectively. After their victory over Indiana State, the Penguins held a conference record of 4-1-1, which officially marked the best start in program history. 

Entering conference play, the women’s soccer team started 1-1 in the Horizon League after it lost its first conference matchup to the University of Detroit Mercy on the road, 2-1, then won the following matchup at home 2-1 against Northern Kentucky University.

A two-game losing stretch followed the conference openers, as the Penguins lost on the road in Dayton to Wright State University, 3-2, and at home to Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, 1-0.

Following a 0-0 tie at Cleveland State University for its next game, the team returned home to face Oakland University. After two goals from Oakland graduate student Macey Wierenga, the ‘Guins lost the contest, 2-1.

Top-ranked University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee was the next opponent the Penguins faced at home. Despite a 2-4-1 conference record for YSU, the Penguins faced off against undefeated Milwaukee, but the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

For its last two games of the season, the soccer team took on the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and Robert Morris University. The Penguins beat the Phoenix, 2-0, on the road but came up short against the Colonials, 2-1.

The women’s soccer team finished 7-7-3, with a 3-5-2 record in the Horizon League.

Senior goalie Brooklynn Kirkpatrick finished her YSU career with the most wins in Penguin history at 18. She also finished fifth all-time in saves with 255 and first in save percentage, clean sheets with 14 and goals against average.

Brooklynn Kirkpatrick on the field with a soccer ball. Photo by Dylan Lux / The Jambar

Sophomore forward Chloe Weiland led the team in goals and points, four and 11 respectively, for the season. She was also one of three Penguins with three assists on the year.

Sophomore forward Taylor Berry and senior forward Lianna Van Sice both tallied three assists for the Penguins. Berry scored three goals on the season and Van Sice totaled two.

Graduate student forward Regan LaVigna finished her collegiate career with 11 total assists, which places her tied for second all-time for the program.

Weiland and junior Maddie Keister tied for third in the Horizon League for game-winning goals with two each.

Kirkpatrick was third in the Horizon League in saves with 80 and fourth in saves per game with 4.71.