Southeast Soccer team bounces back from tough Arizona Road Trip
In its final game before the start of Ohio Valley Conference play, the Southeast women’s soccer team defeated Oral Roberts with a 1-0 victory Sept. 9 at Houck Stadium.
The Redhawks were reeling from a tragic and disappointing trip to Arizona. The father of Southeast freshman Kate Daus fell to his death while hiking in Arizona, where he traveled to attend the games. It cast a mournful mood on the trip, where the Redhawks lost 5-0 to Arizona and 4-0 to Arizona State.
Mark Daus, of St.Louis, was honored before the game against Oral Roberts, and his daughter received hugs from teammates in an emotional time for all.
Southeast coach Heather Nelson said it’s been a difficult time for everyone in the program.
“I wish we never had to go through this, I wish the Daus family did not have to go through anything like this in their entire lifetime, but given it has happened, I feel like they’ve been a huge source of strength and our players have been a huge source of strength.” Nelson said.
The Redhawks were able to lift spirits by netting the game’s lone goal off the foot of junior midfielder Esmie Gonzales in the first half on their way to their second victory of the season.
Gonzales knew the team had to make an early statement against the Golden Eagles to bounce back from a tough road trip.
“We knew we had to get to the ball first,” Gonzales said. “We wanted to get the ball on the ground, we wanted to connect, and not allow them time on the ball so we could just go at them.”
Southeast hardly allowed for the Golden Eagles to get touches on their side of the field and rarely got into a position to score on goalie Maddie Gleeson, who was in net for the first half of the game.
At the 19-minute mark of the half, the Redhawks managed to drive the ball deep within ORU territory. A pass from sophomore Hannah Compernolle put Gonzales in position to drive the ball to the opposite side of where Golden Eagles goalie Reagan Richins was positioned for the game’s lone goal.
“We knew we had to come out big, because we knew that this is what our Ohio Valley Conference competition is going to be like going forward,” Gonzales said.
Both team’s goalkeepers made two saves in the first half.
At the start of the second half, Southeast coach Heather Nelson replaced Gleeson with freshman Bailey Redden.
ORU out-shot the Redhawks 7-5 in the second half, with Redden making four saves to keep the Golden Eagles off the scoreboard.
“It was definitely good to see her get into her comfort zone out there and feel like that’s where she belonged,” Nelson said.
Oral Roberts fell to a record of (4-5) with the loss.
Looking ahead, the Redhawks (2-4) continue their homestand at 6:30 p.m. Thursday when they host defending Ohio Valley Conference champion Murray State (4-1-1) at Houck Field.