Women’s soccer drops third straight, remains optimistic for season

Freshman midfielder Emma Hawkins attacks the goal Aug. 30 against Missouri State. UCA nearly pulled off a comeback win in their home opener. (photo by Ronak Patel)

The women’s soccer team (0-3) was unable to get in the win column as they dropped their last two games, losing to Missouri State (2-1) on Aug. 30 and Arkansas State (2-1) on Sept. 1.

In their home opener against Missouri State, UCA nearly pulled off a comeback but fell short, with a final score of 3-2. The Bears were held scoreless in the first half and allowed Missouri State to score 2 goals. Despite that brutual first half, UCA kept on fighting and eventually found the net, thanks to junior midfielders Hadley Dickinson and Anika Sultan. 

In the second half of the game, UCA was able to tighten up their defense, nearly keeping Missouri State scoreless. UCA sophomore goalkeeper Regan McCombs had four saves in their near comeback.

Unfortunately, Missouri State’s senior defender Brittney Robinson scored in the 80th minute and UCA was unable to score again and force overtime. 

McCombs and the team are working hard on improving their techiniques for the season. “The adjustments we have mainly made start from the beginning,” McCombs said. “We started off kind of slow and [our] focus was kind of off, [but] we got back into the game and started focusing again. I think that’s what mostly got us back into it.”

McCombs is confident the defense will improve with more repetition.

“We kept our formation, which was good for us,” said McCombs.“We need to keep moving around more, connecting passes, getting the balls through, defending better and pinching. We did a much better job with those things in the second half.”

In their second game this weekend, the Bears fell 3-1 to Arkansas State in Jonesboro. 

The Bears got off to a slow start and allowed the A-State Red Wolves to score a goal within the first two minutes of the game. After allowing a second goal, the Bears were once again in a two-goal hole.

Towards the end of the first half, UCA sophomore defensive midfielder Gracie Hair scored her first goal of the season and was able to cut the lead one. UCA continued to play hard but were unable to score again and eventually gave up another goal. 

Despite starting the season 0-3 after going 16-4-1 last season, the Bears believe fans shouldn’t lose hope in this team. Last season’s leading scorer, senior midfielder Connie Awuku-Darkoh is keeping a positive attitude and appreciative of the fans who still came to the game despite the slow start. 

“We’re really just building on getting to know each other and communicating,” said Awuku-Darkoh.“We’re still learning to build off one another and every game we are getting better. We’re looking forward to the upcoming games.It’s really nice having the fan support out here. It was our first official home game of the season and they came out.” 

The Bears have two road games before playing at Bill Stephen Track/Soccer Complex again, as they travel to Stillwater, Okla. to compete with Oklahoma State University on Sept. 6.


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