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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 pockets a point on the road in 1-1 outing against Oilers

The Eagles move to 13-0-2 on the season and 9-0-2 in Great Midwest Athletic Conference play
Ben Nichols
Eagle defender Lexi Syroka walks on a soaked Ferguson Field after the Eagles completed a conference outing against Lake Erie College.

Through 15 games to start the 2023-24 fall season, the Ashland University women’s soccer team remains undefeated as the No. 1 ranked team in the country at the Division II level.

The Eagles and Oilers went toe-to-toe on the road at DeHaven Field with extreme field conditions playing a factor. With rain pouring down in the days leading up to the outing, the field continued to get muddier and muddier. The two sides would end up walking away, covered in mud, with just one point under either side’s belt as the outing ended with a 1-1 scoreline.

“In all my years around the college game, I don’t think I have ever had to play in field conditions that bad,” said Head Coach Cayleb Paulino on Twitter. “Securing a point on the road in those conditions… we will take it.”

In the first half of play, the game began with slow and methodical movement of the ball.

The first shot of the game would come in the sixth minute as Oiler forward Sydney Noble attempted to open up the contest first with the lead. However, that one shot would be the only one taken by the team in the entirety of the opening 45 minutes.

The following 20 mintues of play would be highlighted by the Eagles’ offense finding its rhythm and pushing the pace of play with aggression. They would force the Oiler defense to make a few mistakes, resulting in free kicks and opportunities on goal, yet the bend-don’t-break mentality of the defense would be in effect.

The Oilers would keep the Eagles off the board for the rest of the first half, as the Eagles would do the same.

Heading into halftime, the Eagles had outshot the Oilers just 4-1, with the foul total equalling just five. With such a slow, wet and muddy first half limiting the production from both teams, the second half was set to showcase a similar storyline.

For the second time in the 2023-24 season, the Eagles were on the receiving end of an own goal. This one came straight out of the break as in the 47th minute a cross inside the Oiler box would deflect awkwardly off the foot of a defender, chipping the goalkeeper and sailing into the back netting.

The Eagles would go up 1-0, and sit in the drivers seat to potentially head back on the road with three points under the team’s belt. Unfortunately for the Eagles, the Oilers were not going to let them pull off a win that easily.

In the 79th minute, Oiler forward Payton Miller found an unassisted goal to bring the game level. The goal scored by the Oilers would be just the fourth allowed by the Eagles this season and first since Oct. 4.

The Eagle offense would then push themselves up the field and attempt to find the game winner in the remaining 11 minutes, but through three shots and three corners they would come up short.

The draw is just the Eagles’ second on the season and first since a 0-0 draw against Trevecca Nazarene way back on Sept. 21.

The Eagles move to 13-0-2 on the season and 9-0-2 in conference play, while the Oilers’ record changes to 9-3-3 overall and 9-1-1 in conference play. The two teams will take on one another at Ferguson Field in just two games on Saturday, Oct. 28.

Before that, the Eagles will next take on the Ursuline Arrows on the road on Wednesday, Oct. 25, with kickoff set for 1:00 P.M.

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