On a balmy Easter Sunday afternoon at Baujan Field, the Flyers put two penalty kicks in the back of the net to win 2-0 over St. Bonaventure. Photo courtesy of Flyer News.
On a splendid sunny Easter Sunday afternoon at Baujan Field, the Flyers women’s soccer team faced winless St. Bonaventure and earned two penalty kicks and converted both in a 2-0 win.
In the two previous match-ups, the Flyers won 3-0 on March 21 on the road and 5-1 on Thursday at home.
For most of the first half, the Flyers had chances but couldn’t convert. Racking up 5 corner kicks taken and 9 shots on goal (12 total), the Flyers didn’t have a high-percentage chance on goal until the 43rd minute.
Freshman midfielder Madison Wilson was fouled just inside the left line of the penalty box by Bonnies senior midfielder Dareion Marrison.
Flyers junior defender Lexy Kidd stepped up to the penalty spot, and calmly fired a shot into the left side of the net as the Bonnies goalkeeper dived right.
“In terms of finishing the opportunities, Lexy Kidd stepped up for the first (penalty), and she loves PKs,” head coach Eric Golz said. “She trains them all the time, so (I’m) excited for her to get the opportunity to finish one.”
Taking a 1-0 lead into halftime, the Flyers’ only lapse was when a yellow card was issued to freshman midfielder Mia Perri in the 39th minute.
With the lead, the Flyers opened the second half and continued to control the game. In the 67th minute, Wilson was once again fouled inside the box. Golz credited Wilson for being elusive on the dribble, and for being “crafty, creative and a little bit unpredictable” and “did a great job earning the penalties.”
“Touching (the ball) past (the defender), they might go for it, they might stay with you,” Wilson said. “Just taking chances, I think we needed them, there’s games that you just can’t finish, and we just need opportunities.”
This time, she stepped up to the box and fired a shot into the bottom right corner as the goalkeeper dove left to put the Flyers up 2-0.
“I’m usually calm on penalty kicks,” Wilson said. “I like taking them. I think confidence is the key, the first (penalty) I was kind of shaken up from the foul, and I just took (the second one). I felt confident.”
Golz credits Wilson for wanting to step up and take the chance on a penalty kick and said it’s great to see the players step up to the spot.
“Obviously we train PKs and we have some people in mind,” Golz said. “But at the end of the day, it’s about who really wants to step up and take it, and in the moment is feeling confident and feeling good about it, so I think to have players step up and want to take that chance, that risk, is awesome.”
From there, the Flyers owned possession and held the Bonnies to just two shots through the entirety of the game. Wilson called the defense “beasts” after the game, and said the defenders are “quick, fast and physical.”
Golz added he thought the team as a whole did a “good job” in transition, and creating pressure on the Bonnies when they lost possession.
“When pressure was broken, I thought we collapsed pretty well to prevent counter-attack opportunities,” Golz said. “(We) did a good job of defending the spacing behind us, a combination of (sophomore goalkeeper) Madelyn (Dewey) in goal, but the back three, and that rotated a bit, but I thought they did a good job of defending the spacing behind us.”
Next up, the Flyers have two big games away from home against Saint Louis on Thursday and next Sunday. The Billikens currently sit at 11-1 and 6-0 in A-10 play, while the Flyers are 7-3-1 and 4-1-1 in the A-10.
“For this entire season, first and foremost we’ve been grateful to have the opportunity to play,” Golz said. “I think that the players have done a good job of attacking step-by-step, game-by-game, one-by-one. Focusing on one game at a time, so we’ll take the same approach as we head into next weekend. They’ve done a lot of great work, made a lot choices, lot of sacrifices to have this opportunity, so I want us to enjoy it, to appreciate it. But we want to go make some magic happen in Saint Louis.”
The only match-up between the two teams this season went to double overtime and ended with a 3-2 Saint Louis win on March 18 in Dayton.
If the Billikens win either of the matches, they will win the A-10 West Division, but with two wins, the Flyers would take the division and host the 4-team A-10 Tournament.
“That’s our goal (to host), it would be a dream,” Wilson said. “To kind of stay humble, we’ve won a couple games now. Just to have a fresh mind going into (the games), we know Saint Louis is good, so just to create chances.”