UIW women couldn’t celebrate senior day with a win at Benson Stadium on Friday night as they fell to Abeline Christian. The Cardinals managed to come from behind but gave it up in the second half to fall to a 2-1 loss.
The Cardinals started the match well, but after five minutes Abeline Christian was able to quickly get charge of the match. Chloe Fifer was the main outlet for the Wildcats as she took all their set-pieces, with three corners in the first 15 minutes.
In the 16th minute ACU was able to open the scoring after their strong attack finally broke through. As had been the trend throughout the match, it was a set-piece which finally produced the goal as Fifer sent in the ball from the corner which found Dylan Owens who sent the ball past the keeper.
That forced the Cardinals to go for the match and Sam Batley was looking the most likely to get the goal. In the 29th minute she had her best chance as she was left in the space to shoot but she could only send her effort over the bar.
After a good passage, the Cardinals finally got the equalizer that they were threatening in the 39th minute. Brooke Hanson was able to send a ball in for Batley, in space, she hit a half-volley which left the keeper with no chance and made it 1-1.
Abeline Christian started the second half the stronger side but the Cardinals defense was proving strong in stopping the opportunities. Those shots were being spread throughout the team but no one was able to get the shot in to the back of the net.
The Wildcats were proving the stronger side throughout the second half as they had almost all of the attacking chances and shots. In the 76th minute they finally broke through as Sophie Standifer sent a long ball up the field, finding Owens who was able to score at the near post and restore ACU’s lead.
UIW pushed for the equalizer again through the final 15 minutes but the ACU defense stood firm and kept the Cardinals out. Despite the final result, UIW showed they could compete with a strong Southland Conference side, which will give them confidence as next season they will finally be eligible for post season.