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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

AU women’s soccer remains undefeated on season, takes down Storm 4-1

The Eagles improved to 9-0-1 on the season and 5-0-1 in conference play
Jan Powers Media
Eagle goalkeeper Mackenzie Simon remains to be one of the top goalkeepers in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference having allowed just three goals on the campaign.

For four weeks now the Ashland University women’s soccer team has been ranked as the No. 1 team in the nation at the Division II level.

Once again, the Eagles have protected that placement as they remain undefeated throughout the 2023-24 season. On Wednesday, Oct. 4, the Eagles traveled north to take on the Lake Erie College Storm, downing them in a 4-1 affair on the road.

“It is always good to get a result on the road,” said Head Coach Cayleb Paulino.

In the first half of play, the Eagles showcased its usual offensive prowl as they outshot the Storm, 6-1. The Storm’s only shot was off target, leaving little action for Eagle goalkeeper Mackenzie Simon.

The six taken by the Eagles led to two saves from Storm goalkeeper Morgan Vanmeter while one found its way into the back netting. That goal would come in just the fifth minute of the game as standout junior winger McKinley Mendenhall propelled the Eagles into the lead with a 1-0 start.

Through the remainder of the opening 45 minutes they attempted to push that lead forward, but the Storm would stand strong and keep them off the board. The Eagles, who have averaged seven corner kicks a game, recorded just one in the first half of play.

“I thought after the first goal early in the game we got too comfortable and didn’t play with as much urgency,” said Paulino. “At halftime, we challenged them to want more and really press the issue going forward in the attack.”

To begin the second half, the Eagles ramped up its offensive tendencies and pace of play, as they would find a goal just six minutes into the final 45 minutes of play. That goal would come in the 51st minute as Mendenhall slotted a ball cleanly to winger Dani Hicks, who knocked the ball into the back netting to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead.

In the 65th minute, forward Allison King found her fourth goal of the season unassisted as she extended the Eagles lead to three.

With the Eagles fully in the driver’s seat, they added on one more goal from freshman Sydney Polen who gave the Eagles a 4-0 lead heading into the dying moments of the contest.

However, even with such a high mountain to climb, the Storm continued to push forward looking to lighten the blow and Storm forward Madison Amburgey would score the team’s only goal of the outing.

The final score favored the Eagles, 4-1, as they improved to 9-0-1 on the season and 5-0-1 in conference play, placing them second in the conference table. The Storm on the other hand remain winless in conference play at a 0-6 record, while sitting 1-8-1 on the season.

“We were able to apply constant pressure and add three more goals to the sheet in the second half,” said Paulino.

The Eagles next look to take on the Thomas More Saints at home on Saturday, Oct. 7, with kickoff set for 3:00 P.M. at Ferguson Field.

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