Women’s soccer wins first game 3-0
Women’s soccer dominated in Friday’s season opener, shutting out the visiting Whitworth Pirates 3-0 at Wilson Field.
The team finished below .500 in 2011 (7-8-3), and lost four seniors. With a revamped roster consisting of 10 freshmen and nine sophomores, the Panthers are eligible to win a conference title being officially part of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletics Conference (SCIAC) this season.
“The freshmen are really willing to learn and everyone is there for each other,” said sophomore midfielder Olivia Do. “We’re ready for anyone.”
Chapman began strong, with Do scoring a goal in the seventh minute. Whitworth had two shots on goal in the first half, but Chapman had clear control of the field while getting nine shot attempts off.
“The first half we came out [playing] really hard. In those first couple of minutes we were pushing and making a lot of runs and definitely scared their defense,” said junior defender Christie Hendel.
Whitworth started the second half with a shot on goal at the 45-minute mark, but the Panther defense buckled down and denied another attempt for the remainder of the contest.
Sophomore forward Rebeccah Bortz scored in the 66th minute, upping the score to 2-0. With less than three minutes remaining in the game, freshman forward Savanna Schmidt pushed up the field and scored the third and final goal for Chapman.
“One thing I never worry about with this team is chemistry,” said Head Coach Courtney Calderon. “They’re all on the same page with the same goal.”
Schmidt said the game came down to a battle of toughness.
“[Whitworth] went into battles with us but we were a lot tougher than them,” she said.
Calderon expressed her excitement with Schmidt’s performance in collegiate her debut.
“Putting a ball in the back of the goal, just being a freshman and coming out and doing that – that’s huge,” Calderon said.
Although Chapman triumphed in Friday’s game, they have had a number of setbacks in the season. Practices began Aug. 20, but there are already four team members sitting out due to injury. Junior forward Camy Jun, who was third on the team in goals last season, tore her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in last week’s practice and will be sidelined for the rest of the season.
“This is the second time Jun has torn her ACL,” Hendel said. “We just have to pick ourselves up and move on.”
The Panthers hope to build on the win when they take on Lewis & Clark University at 5 p.m. Thursday Sept. 6 at Wilson Field.