The SIUE women’s soccer team won its home opener 2-0 over Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis on Friday night. The victory gave the team a record of 2-1-0 for the season.
Sophomore midfielder Cassidy Sherman helped the Cougars by scoring two goals while also controlling the play in the middle of the field.
Despite a first half when the Cougars dominated possession and took nine shots, they went into the locker room tied at 0-0. The tie did not last long after that.
In the 48th minute, Sherman blasted a shot from inside the right side of the box, scoring the team’s first goal. Both junior midfielder Samantha Jones and senior midfielder Chelsea Smith were credited with an assist on the goal.
Less than five minutes later, in the 51st minute, junior forward Michelle Auer sent a cross from the right side of the field that found Sherman, who headed the ball into the back of the net, making the score 2-0.
The Cougars had seven shots on goal and 18 total, nine in each half. Coach Derek Burton said he believed the team came out more composed after halftime.
“I think we were a little bit ahead of ourselves [in the first half] when the scoring chances came. We weren’t striking the ball well,” Burton said. “Consequently, we weren’t finding the frame. I think we did a better job of being composed when we got our scoring chances [in the second half].”
Along with their first home victory of the year, the Cougars had their first shutout of the year. Sophomore goalkeeper Jennifer Pelley made two saves to get the clean sheet. Pelley said the Cougars’ confidence helped them keep IUPUI out of the net.
“We were a lot more organized in the back and came out with confidence and assurance that we could pull off a shutout,” Pelley said.
Coach Burton said he was pleased with the start of the season and he believes the first game really helped the team.
“We’ve been good the last two games. We learned a lot a week ago in our first regular season game. We’ve really taken what was showed to us in that first game and not let it happen again,” Burton said. “We have altered our approach a little bit in terms of the players, realizing what it takes to play game-in and game-out [for] 90 minutes. Moving forward, our objective is to keep the same mindset, the same intensity, game-in and game-out.”
The team’s next game is at 7 p.m. Friday at St. Louis University. Their next home game is at 1 p.m. Sunday against Indiana State.