Titans net seven goals in wins

Calvin Skalet

[/media-credit] Sophomore forward Madison Smith looks to advance the ball up-field against the University of Dubuque (Iowa) Saturday.

The UW Oshkosh women’s soccer team won in a pair of shutouts this past week over the University of Dubuque (Iowa) Spartans and Marian University Sabres as the Titans extended their record to 3-3-1.

UWO defeated Dubuque, 3-0, on Saturday. The Titans received goals from freshman Mallory Knight, junior Alek Kleis and junior Kendra Jepson.

UWO junior goalkeeper Jessica Galason recorded her first shutout of the season and was able to save two shots on goal in the first half. She stopped 10 shots total including eight in the second half.

The attack came early for UWO as the first goal came when Knight scored in the sixth minute of the game. Knight’s goal was assisted by freshman midfielder Addie Schmitz.

UWO also converted on two penalty shots late in the game to add to the Titans’ lead as Kleis and Jepson both converted a second-half penalty shot.

In the 73rd minute of the game, Kleis was fouled inside the box and would convert on her penalty shot to make the score 2-0. The Spartans committed another foul, this time on Jepson inside the box in the 84th minute; Jepson converted the penalty kick and earned her second goal of the season to lead the Titans to a 3-0 victory.

The Titans have allowed just five goals this season while holding six of their seven opponents to one score or less.

Galason said the quickness of the Titans defense is a big contributor to her success in goal.

“A lot of what helps me be successful in goal is the help I get from my defenders,” Galason said. “The defense is strong and does a good job of clearing the ball out and building it up from out of the back.”

On Monday, the Titans continued their winning ways as they shut out Marian University 4-0. UWO dominated the attack by attempting 18 shots, 11 of which were on goal.

UWO opened the match with a breakaway goal from Kleis during the 12th minute; it was the second goal of the season for Kleis. The Titans added to their lead in the 24th minute as freshman Fiona Neary scored her first goal of the year.

The Titans closed the first half with junior midfielder Taylor Arnold’s goal just 18 seconds before the break. Arnold’s first goal of the season came on a shot that floated to the top right corner of the net.

UWO attempted 18 shots during Monday’s match, led by Schmitz with four, three by Arnold and two each from Kleis, Morris and sophomore Delaney Karl. The Titans were able to keep the Sabres to just four shots in the entire match.

UWO used multiple goalkeepers against the Sabres. Sophomore goalkeeper Madelyn Runyan started out for the Titans and played for the entire 45-minute half. Freshman Erin Toomey played 36:09 into the second half and was replaced by Abby Person for the remaining 8:51 in the game.

Kleis said she felt the Titans were more spatially aware this week, which lead to offensive success.

“I think the offense definitely picked it up this week, starting with Dubuque with scoring three goals,” Kleis said. “I think that the offense was staying wide, which creates space for passes and penetrating runs at goal.”

Kleis also mentioned the chemistry from all phases of the team helped the offensive flow of the game.

“The center forwards were checking back to receive a ball, which helps create scoring opportunities, whether it is them playing back to a center-mid or turning up and looking for a chance at goal,” Kleis said. “Our offense was also looking to score, and we weren’t afraid to look and take a shot.”

UWO head coach Erin Coppernoll said she saw improvements in the Titans offensive presence and said, while they are playing well, there is always room for improvement.

“We are playing better, meaning keeping possession of the ball better,” Coppernoll said. “Only four goals were through the run of play – two were penalty kicks and one was off of a corner, still better than the first two weekends and certainly headed in the good direction.”

UWO continues action on Saturday, as the Titans face the University of Chicago (Ill.) Maroons at J. J. Keller Field.