With two weeks before its next match, the University of Dayton women’s soccer team went into the break on a high note after its 3-0 win over Wright State University on Sept. 14 at Baujan Field.
The win over Wright State extended Dayton’s unbeaten streak over its cross-town rival to 11 games, going 10-0-1 over that stretch and outscoring the Raiders 24-5.
“Tonight was pretty special with a lot of things that happened out there,” head coach Mike Tucker said. “Those were as good as any team you’d see in the country. It was exciting.”
Also, Tucker said he thought the game was among the best the team has played this season.
“Defensively, I thought we stayed organized the whole time,” he said. “We never really let them get in behind us. It was really the best game in defensive organization from the midfield to the back that we’ve had.”
Dayton (6-3) took the lead in the 17th minute on the right foot of senior forward Colleen Williams. After taking a crossing pass from junior midfielder Juliana Libertin, Williams dribbled in from the center of the penalty area and struck a shot to the left of WSU goalkeeper Brooke McCurdy.
Dayton dominated the opening 20 minutes with a constant attack of long entry passes towards the corners of the penalty areas.
“We wanted to spread them as much as we could,” Tucker said. “We played three forwards again. We thought we’d wear them down.”
Freshman midfielder Nicole Waters in the 40th minute created a turnover into a goal on her own. Taking the ball left of the net, she dribbled into space above the box and curved a shot into the upper far corner away from a diving McCurdy for a 2-0 advantage.
Dayton outshot Wright State (4-2-3) in the first half 18-5 and had seven corner kick attempts to none for WSU.
“We had some great balls played in and you have to give their keeper credit for making the saves,” Tucker said. “We did what we wanted there. We thought we were going to be a little more athletic with our forwards than their backs could handle. I thought we did a pretty good job of putting them under so much pressure.”
Play in the second half stayed even until Dayton got a 3-0 lead off a long through ball to freshman midfielder Megan Campbell that created a breakaway chance, which she netted in over McCurdy who was diving toward her.
Wright State would raise the amount of pressure if applied to Dayton’s forwards with some rough play, including Williams having her head grabbed while chasing down a ball. Tucker said he thought by that point in the match, Wright State had no other choice but to get more aggressive because of the athletic advantage Dayton had.
The team will not return to the pitch until Sept. 28 when it opens Atlantic 10 Conference play against the University of Massachusetts at 4 p.m. in Amherst, Mass. With two weeks between matches, Tucker said the team has things to work on in training, but nothing too much to focus on because of how good he feels the team is playing heading into its break.
“I’m really disappointed that we don’t have games next week because we’re playing really well right now,” he said. “…We’ll take some time off, but we’re going to work on our set pieces and team defending. Nothing we have to do dramatically but continue to tweak things and make them better.”