Women's soccer ends season with loss to Northwestern State

In their final game of the season, the UCA women’s soccer ended their season with a 2-1 loss to Northwestern State. (photo courtesy of UCASports)

In their final game of the season, the UCA women’s soccer ended their season with a 2-1 loss to Northwestern State. 

Even though the season may be seen as a disappointment, it is encouraging that the Bears (5-12-1, 4-7 SLC) won 4 of their last 5 games of the season. 

Senior midfielder Connie Awuku-Darkoh admits this was a rough season for the team as a whole but thinks fans should be excited for next season.

Overall it’s been tough how the season didn’t go the way we wanted. It’s definitely bittersweet being a senior because it is my final season with this team. But I know this team is a strong and they will be able to come back stronger next season,” Awuku- Darkoh said. 

In the final game of the season, the Bears did show promise. UCA was able to control possession of the ball and get themselves plenty of scoring opportunites throughout the game.

The Bears came into the game with a game plan to give themselves scoring opportunities but they were unable to make the most of their opportunities.

“I think overall we were able to get so many scoring opportunities because we knew coming into this game we needed to give ourselves the best opportunity to make it to the tournament. We had a game plan to try to get through their defense and tried our best to execute that,” Awuku-Darkoh said. 

The Bears were able to generate 15 scoring opportunites against Northwestern which outnumbered the Demon’s chances by three, but unfortunately, the Bears were only able to connect on one of those shots. 

Similar to many other matches this season, the Bears started the games slow. Northwestern scored a goal in the 3rd minute of the match and 26 minutes afterward, they doubled their lead. The Bears were unable to answer back and ended the first half scoreless.

In the second half, the Bears nearly tied the game. After allowing Northwestern to score two goals, the Bears held them scorless and only allowed them to take three shots. Finally, in the 74th minute, the Bears were got on the scoreboad thanks to sophomore defender Taylor Webb. With fourteen minutes left in the game, the Bears were unable to score another goal and take the game into overtime.

Despite the loss and disappointing season, head coach Jeremy Bishop told UCASports the team still played hard every game despite the adversity this season brought. 

“Tonight was a microcosm of the season in almost every sense,” Bishop said. “We created a ton of good scoring chances but didn't convert enough of them. We didn't give up very many good scoring chances for the other team but they still got a couple in. There were some big referee decisions that didn't go our way, and I'm very proud that, just like all season, our girls kept fighting all the way to the end. It was a frustrating season to be sure, but I think what we are most disappointed in is that we won't get to compete at home in the tournament after going for the last four years and reaching the semi-finals for the past three. But there are lessons to be learned and growth that's needed and it will happen to put us back where we want to be next year.”

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