After what was a record breaking season for the Oral Roberts University women’s soccer team, the Golden Eagles fell in penalty kicks to Southeastern Louisiana in the Southland Conference semifinal.
The loss brought the Golden Eagles to a 15-4-1 overall mark for the season, which marks the best finish the women’s soccer team has ever had.
The Golden Eagles had to mix and match this season, and also had to account for some injuries, most notably at goalie when Preseason All-Southland selection Helen Erb went down with injury before the Oklahoma game.
Maddie Rhodes came in for Erb and played great, finishing in the top 30 of the nation in both goals against average and save percentage.
“Within about a minute, the team was able to say, ‘We are behind Maddie, we have faith in her and we believe in her,’” said Head Coach Roger Bush. “Maddie’s a wonderful player and we are blessed to have two great goalkeepers on our team.”
Even though the Golden Eagles set the all-time record for wins in a season, the team still had a bad taste in their mouths with how the season ended.
“I’m still bummed that we lost in semi’s,” said senior defender Rachel Carroll. “I think we definitely were good enough to win it this year, and it was disappointing that it had to end how it did in PK’s. We gave it all we had, and we grew so much as a team. I’m so proud of how the team played down the stretch.”
The Golden Eagles will lose their leading scorer from this past season, Jennifer Abernathy, but return a talented squad that should be able to compete for the conference title again.
“We are extremely excited about the group of seniors who will be here next season,” Bush said. “They will do a wonderful job of leading the program, and we have full confidence and faith in them.”
“We already have 23 kids on the roster going into the spring, and they will be a roster that is ready to go and compete. We have lots of work and improvements to make, but we are confident in the 23 we have as of now.”