By Dylan Lux
With one more game left in the regular season, the Youngstown State University women’s soccer team inches closer to the Horizon League tournament.
The Penguins traveled to Green Bay, Wisconsin, on Oct. 21. The team squared off against the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Entering the matchup, the Penguins were 6-6-3 overall and 2-4-2 in conference play.
With a win on the road, the ‘Guins stayed alive in the race for the postseason, needing a top-six spot in the conference standings to make the conference tournament.
Youngstown State sat in ninth place before the matchup with the Phoenix, needing to gain three spots to qualify. Green Bay was eliminated prior to its matchup with YSU.
With a scoreless first 25 minutes, sophomore Chloe Weiland broke the tie with an unassisted goal from just outside the box at the 25:31 mark of the first half. This was Weiland’s third goal of the season, which ties her for first on the team with sophomore Taylor Berry.
Shrum spoke on the significance of the young forwards, saying the future of the team looks bright.
“It means a lot, and the future of the program is bright,” Shrum said. “Having players like that up front that can get in behind the defense and score, or take players on and score, is a positive anytime you look at it.”
Soon after, at the 29-minute mark, graduate student Jordan Evans scored off an assist from freshman Emma Berdiner to put the Penguins up 2-0. Evans netted her second goal of the year.
The 2-0 score took the teams into halftime after YSU accumulated eight total shots in the first 45 minutes.
After a scoreless second half, the Penguins won the matchup against Green Bay and kept their postseason hopes afloat. The team now has 11 points in the conference standings, placing it eighth.
The team totaled 12 shots throughout the contest, with seven shots on goal. Berdiner earned her second assist of the year on the goal from Evans.
Senior goalkeeper Brooklynn Kirkpatrick posted her fourth shutout of the season and had two saves against the Phoenix.
In the Penguins’ next matchup, they will return home to Farmers National Bank Field to take on Robert Morris University on senior night.
Weiland said the team is looking to do what it can to win and not let the outside factors contribute to the nerves.
“[I’m] a little nervous but honestly, it’s just another game for us,” Weiland said. “You can’t control the outside factors, just what we can do on the field … just getting it done the way we know how to do it.”
Being the last game of the team’s regular season, a win would give YSU 14 points — just enough for sixth place in the conference.
With a win against Robert Morris and a win or tie from Oakland University, the women’s soccer team will find itself in the Horizon League tournament and be dancing yet again.