The Wildcats women’s soccer team fell to Westminster 1-0 during a rainy Friday night season opener. Westminster scored on a bobbled penalty kick in the 79th minute, and that proved to be enough to win the game for them.
“It’s tough, especially in a situation like today, when things don’t go the way you want them to in the end,” Coach Tim Crompton said of the game’s outcome. “There are lessons to be learned from every game you play and it’s apparent that we have a few to learn from this.”
The Wildcats, statistically, outplayed the Griffins offensively (14 shots on goal versus nine) and defensively had better control throughout the game. However, a late penalty kick by Westminster’s Abby Holbrook, combined with the slippery weather conditions, proved to be the one and only goal needed to decide the game.
Though upset, many of the players from the team were still optimistic. Senior midfielder Kendra Smith showed that optimism as well as shared in the disappointment.
“Moments like this loss are definitely tough,” Smith said. “But they are also the times in which we need to learn to pick ourselves up and move on to the next game.”
Both the coaches and players spoke positively of the team’s performance, and knew where they could improve.
“We don’t makes excuses, we know where we need to go,” Crompton said. “We did really well the first half and only had a few errors the second. Thing like this are all part of the maturation process, and we grow and accept that.”
“I feel I did okay, but everyone contributes to the team effort in different ways,” said Smith. “I know that there are many things that the team, myself included, need to work on. That’s what we are going to focus on before our next game.”
With Friday’s game, the Wildcats begin the season with a loss (0-1-0) and move on to play Omaha, another non-conference opponent. They will not begin conference play until Sept. 26, when they travel to face Montana.
The Wildcats were ranked second in the preseason coaches poll in the Big Sky Conference, and are the reigning conference champions, finishing the season last year at 10-5-5 (5-2-2 in conference play).
Coach Crompton is looking forward to the game on Friday as a good opportunity to help the players develop and grow.
“I believe one of the best ways to get the bitter taste of a loss is to go out and play in another,” Crompton said.