The Lady Braves have their eyes on a conference tournament title as the postseason arrives. York College (10-6-2, 5-5-2 KCAC) comes to town 5:30 p.m. Friday to take on the Ottawa University women’s soccer team (14-3-1, 10-1-1 KCAC) in the quarterfinals of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament. OU previously beat York 3-0 in September.
In their final four regular season matches, the Lady Panthers have managed just one goal. They were 1-1-2 in that span with scorless double-overtime ties against both Friends University and Tabor College.
Ottawa, meanwhile, has had its own scoring struggles. The team won nine consectutive conference matches this season, averaging more than three goals per game during that stretch. OU finished the regular season 1-1-1 with a 1-1 double-overtime tie Tuesday at home against Tabor College. The team scored three goals total in the final three matches, all coming in the second half.
“Like I told the ladies, controlling the ball in fantastic, out-shooting your opponent is great, but we have to find a way to put the ball in the net,” Roman Duchateau, OU head women’s soccer coach, said. “We’ve been in goal scoring slumps before. This isn’t our first of the season. We’ve battled out of that. If we start putting the ball in the back of the net a lot, we are going to be in good shape.”
The Lady Braves had plenty of opportunities Tuesday. They out-shot Tabor 24-5, including 7-3 in shots-on-goal. Leigh-Anne Bartlett, junior forward, broke a scorless tie with a goal less than two minutes into the second half to put OU up 1-0. Tabor didn’t match that until the 80:46 mark of the second half when Rachel Bennett broke away and got the ball past Nicole Tallent, OU sophomore goalkeeper.
“They were looking to sit in and counter,” Duchateau said. “Credit to them, they did a good job, and we didn’t deal with that big ball very well. We tried to get back into it, and we just couldn’t get the ball in the back of the net.
Despite coming close on a number of occassions, Ottawa didn’t score in the final nine minutes or either of the 10-minute overtimes. Bartlett led the team in shots with seven and had four shots-on-goal.