Soccer hits pivotal stretch in Horizon League

By Dylan Lux

Youngstown State University’s women’s soccer team encountered a rainy evening in Cleveland and a brisk afternoon at Farmers National Bank Field as it continued its Horizon League schedule with matchups against Cleveland State University and Oakland University.

In the first of the two matchups, the Penguins took on the Vikings of Cleveland State on Oct. 5 at Krenzler Field.

The rain throughout the game did not limit either team’s scoring opportunities, as 30 total shots made their way toward the net.

In the end, both teams settled for a 0-0 draw, giving each team one point in the Horizon League standings.

Senior goalie Brooklynn Kirkpatrick had five saves in the game and posted her third shutout of the season.

Senior goalie Brooklynn Kirkpatrick executes a goal kick. Photo by Dylan Lux / The Jambar

The Penguins tallied four shots on goal, with two from sophomore midfielder Taylor Berry and two from sophomore forward Chloe Weiland.

Sophomore Chloe Weiland awaits a pass from her teammate. Photo by Dylan Lux / The Jambar.

Head coach Brian Shrum credited the Vikings’ toughness for the difficult road game conditions.

“I don’t think it was just the road aspect — that was a good team we played against,” Shrum said. “They’re trying to fight for every point as we are, and that’s what happens when you have two tough teams playing against each other.”

Redshirt freshman Tatum Gretz passes to freshman Eva Sunjuvaric. Photo by Dylan Lux / The Jambar

The Penguins returned home Oct. 8 to take on the Oakland Golden Grizzlies.

A scoring outburst from Oakland graduate student Macey Wierenga brought the score to 2-0 at the break after scoring a brace in the first half.

One minute into the second half at the 46-minute mark, Berry delivered a strike to the back of the net off an assist from Weiland, trimming the deficit to 2-1.

Berry said the goal was a momentum boost for the team and helped them start the second half the way they wanted.

“It’s just what we needed, I think going down two zero before halftime … that does a lot to someone’s mental state, and you’re immediately thinking ‘this game’s going down the drain,’” Berry said. “Just coming out of halftime, and having the entire team bring that intensity … that’s exactly what we needed.”

Even with Berry’s goal in the early minutes of the second half, the score would remain 2-1 as the Penguins came up short against Oakland.

Despite the loss, Shrum said the team did well keeping the ball in their possession. 

“We did a really nice job with the ball today in possession, it’s just unfortunate that we didn’t have a couple of those [goals] fall,” Shrum said. “Took a lot of chances in the second half, it just didn’t go our way. We’ll keep working at that, it’s all you can do.”

The women’s soccer team will return to the pitch at 5 p.m. on Oct. 12 at Farmers National Bank Field, where they will take on top-ranked University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. 

The matchup against the Panthers will mark one of three remaining matches for the Penguins’ regular season.

To watch the match live, visit ESPN+, and for live stats, scores and more, visit