Score: Saint Louis 2 - Oral Roberts 0
Record: SLU - 3-2-0 - ORU 1-4-0
TULSA, Okla. – The Golden Eagles lost to the Saint Louis Billikens, 2-0, Friday night at the Case Soccer Complex.
In what was a nail biter of a night, the Oral Roberts women's soccer team conceded two late goals, dropping its third consecutive match. Despite the losing streak, the Golden Eagles have shown multiple signs of hope.
ORU opened the match against SLU with its back against the wall as the Billikens offense recorded four shots and one corner kick within the first 15-minutes. It was in the 16th minute that the Golden Eagles saw its first opportunity as defender Brooklyn Eardley sent a goal kick to the mid-line where Drishana Pillay found herself with the ball in the open field and a charging Billiken goal keeper out of the box. Mary Niehaus, the Billikens keeper, stopped any ORU opportunity as she received the yellow card while taking Pillay down at about 25-yards out.
Starting defenders Shannon Smith, Brooklyn Eardley, Mackenzi Kirschner and Jessica Misquez settled down and held the Billiken offense to only two shots over the next 10-minutes before clearing the ball out to an awaiting attacker in Pillay. The junior forward would then set up teammate Amogelang Motau as the Johannesburg, native took a shot that missed high.
After the first 45 minutes of play, head coach Roger Bush had one simple message, which was to just relax, "We were playing with a great deal of intensity and sometimes it is hard to balance intensity with the proper composure," said Bush. "I just asked them to relax, because you're in this game and I think once they realized that in the second half they were able to play with a level of intensity and a level of belief."
The Golden Eagles did just that coming out of the half as the defense held its ground defending three shots from the Billikens within the first five minutes. SLU missed high on its first attempt, followed by ORU's defense blocking the second attempt, while Austin saved the third attempt.
ORU answered back with an attack of its own as Pillay found her next scoring opportunity missing just high with a header at the 54th minute off of a Jordan Langebartels cross. Pillay repaid Langebartels with a scoring opportunity of her own as the Tulsa, native found herself beating the Billiken defensive line, before taking a shot that ended unlucky as the Billiken keeper recorded her first save of the night..
Langebartels and the Golden Eagles were not done attacking the Billikens defense as Langebartels and substitute Mia Kitterman each took a shot at goal forcing SLU keeper Mary Niehaus to record her second and third saves on the night.
The Golden Eagles recorded eight shots on the night, led by Langebartels with two of her three shots finding the target. Freshman Samantha See recorded two shots, while Pillay and Kitterman each recorded one.
In the 73rd minute the Billiken offense found a crack in the Golden Eagles defense as Annabelle Copeland scored off an assist by Courtney Reimer. The Billikens ended all hope of an ORU comeback as SLU attacker Hannah Friedrich found the back of the net in the 86th minute.
- For the second consecutive match keeper Allison Austin and defenders Brooklyn Eardley and Mackenzi Kirschner played the 90 minutes.
- Austin recorded five saves on the night for a .714%, her highest save percentage in a match this year.
- After recording only two shots in the first half, the Golden Eagles tallied six total in the second half.
- Freshmen Gabrielle Abbey and Mia Kitterman each saw the field for the first time this season providing a total of 50 minutes off the bench between the two.
- ORU has conceded 10 goals in the last three matches, including five of those 10 goals coming in the 70th minute or later.
- The Golden Eagles are 0-4-0 when wearing the gold uniforms this year.
Head Coach Roger Bush on…
"Hats off to Saint Louis, they're a great team and a great program. They deserve our respect and tonight they earned our respect."
"We can be more composed and when we are more composed we play at a higher rate, so there is a higher level than we understand that is in us. I think that it's a learning process but I think that as we played into tonight's game the team should take away confidence because they did play into the game against a good opponent and we were able to play composed. The big takeaway for us tonight was defending intensity and defending discipline and both those things were apparent, we did a good job in those areas."
…Freshman keeper Allison Austin:
"We were super happy with Allison, obviously it is not easy to come in as a freshman and be thrown into Power-5 schools like she has been and essentially four teams that could likely play in the NCAA tournament this year. She has been fantastic, the team is behind her and believes in her. She is growing each game, obviously she was under some pressure in the first half and I thought she handled that really well tonight."
…the team's morale:
"We gotta have folks that believe in what we're doing and right now the team believes in each other. Obviously this has been a tough journey in the first phase of the season, and we understood that coming out of last year and going into this year that we would be in a certain phase of integration and we are going to start in the second phase of collaboration and I know we can put together a really strong soccer team."
Oral Roberts will host Grambling State for a Sunday matinee on Sept. 8, at the Case Soccer Complex. Admission is free.
For the latest information on ORU Women's Soccer, follow the Golden Eagles on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or go to www.ORUAthletics.com. Fans can also receive updates on the team by downloading two mobile apps, ORU Golden Eagles Live and ORU Front Row, available on the App Store and Google Play.