Women’s Soccer: The cherry on top

By John Ostapowicz and China Goodson

The Youngstown State University women’s soccer team traveled to Titan Field in Detroit to face off against Detroit Mercy University in a thrilling game leading to the Penguins defeat, 1-0 on Sept. 22. 

After 60 minutes of scoreless play, the Titans struck first on the Penguins as senior goalkeeper Mackenzie Simon started for the first time this season. In the game, she recorded two saves while facing nine shots. 

With the loss to Detroit Mercy on the road, the Penguins waddle back home to Farmers National Bank Field to go head-to-head against the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Sept. 25. 

The Panthers hold a dominant series against Youngstown State to the tune of 18-2-0 including a stretch of 11 wins in a row and a current win streak of six. 

Just as the match started around 15 minutes in, it was abruptly stopped because of a lighting delay. According to NCAA rules, when a game is stopped because of a delay it must be carried out before three hours is reached from the start of the game or the game cannot be carried out. 

The Penguins were finally able to take on the Panthers in a rare 10 a.m. game Sept. 26 which saw the match come down to the final six seconds of play. Milwaukee was able to strike back to end the game in a draw, 1-1. 

The draw is the first between the two teams and erases the Panthers perfect streak.

Aiding the Penguins offensive attack, three-time team captain, senior Jordan Evans was able to score her first career goal off of a free kick attempted by senior Mikayla Mustard. 

“[The game] was awesome, I feel like it’s an indescribable feeling. It was great that I was able to be in that position and had that opportunity that I could give my team,” Evans said. 

With six seconds left, the Panthers fought back and retaliated with a late goal to force the tie for both teams. 

At the goalkeeper position for Youngstown State, junior Brooklyn Kirkpatrick recorded 10 saves, nine coming from the first half. So far this season, Kirkpatrick leads the Horizon League with 58 saves. 

With the draw, the Penguins are heading into a bye week. Head coach Brian Shrum will be rewarding the team with a Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream and Yogurt trip. 

“I don’t necessarily think that the break is needed but I do know that they want to be rewarded with a Handel’s ice cream run that I’m supposed to give them on the bye-week,” Shrum said. 

With 10 games under the team’s belt and heading into a well deserved break, the Penguins sit at 2-6-3 after a couple of tough games. The remaining six opponents for Youngstown State do not get any easier as the final two opponents sit at the top of the Horizon League.

The Penguins will be back in action Oct. 6 to face off against the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. To watch the game live, check out ESPN+ and for live updates visit ysusports.com.