The opening game of the 2022 season for The Master’s University women’s soccer team did not go as hoped as the Southern Oregon Raiders defeated the Mustangs 1-0 in front of a capacity crowd at a windy Reese Field in Newhall on Aug. 20.
The Raiders, a team receiving votes for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Top 25 Pre-season Poll, got their lone goal in the 18th minute of the first half when Baylee Touey dribbled the ball down the center of the field and fired her shot into the upper left corner of the net for what turned out to be the game-winner.
“The goal they scored on is just unacceptable, both from the back line and the goalie,” said Mustang Head Coach Curtis Lewis. “And the wind played a huge factor in the game. There is no doubt about that. But we couldn’t keep the ball for an extended period of time. Most of our possessions were deep in our own half. Our press couldn’t get established because we couldn’t keep the ball.”
Southern Oregon outshot the Mustangs 5-2 in the first half, but a more aggressive play by TMU in the second half gave both teams three shots apiece. Freshman Autumn Jensen got the start in goal and came up with four saves.
“The first 12 minutes of the second half we created lots of opportunities,” Lewis said. “But none of those opportunities really created goal scoring opportunities. But it goes back to immaturity. You can’t wait until halftime and have the coach get all over you in order to play soccer.
Ellie Radmilovich led the Mustangs with two shots in the match. Kate Merical and Brandi Meyer also took opportunities to score.
“Ellie is always a work engine for us. She is always moving and running,” Lewis said. “And I thought (Hannah) Burke was dangerous. She created and had lots of opportunities. I thought Mary (Mobley) worked hard for us.”
The Mustangs will now go on a three-match road trip to Florida, which will end against #6 Keiser in West Palm Beach. The next home match for TMU will be on Saturday, Sept. 3 against the University of Antelope Valley.