In the intense humidity on Friday night, ORU Women’s soccer opened the season against the University of Missouri Kansas City and took home a victory predicting positive outcomes as the season continues for the Golden Eagles.
The team is composed of 22 returning players, and is bringing to the field 16 newcomers. With a phenomenal track record from the previous season: 11-9-2 overall and 5-3 in The Summit League, ORU was picked for a preseason role of fourth over all in the league this year. The last time they faced UMKC, they were defeated 4-0 against the Kangaroos.
Junior forward Sierra Beall broke away from the Kangaroos after a scoreless first half, evading the incoming defensive attack and locking in a cross inside the box. This allowed freshman Shayla Padilla, on her career debut night, to secure the opening goal in favor of the Golden Eagles.
“I got the ball and saw space and took it. When I looked up I saw Shayla running to the back post not guarded or anything. I thought ‘If I can get here there, she can just touch it,’” said Beall. “If I do my job, I know she’ll do hers. She got the ball and performed well and got us going.”
After the first goal, according to Head Coach Roger Bush, the team’s aggressiveness receded. However that did not stop senior Amanda Dial from yielding a second half goal, from an assist offered again by first year Padilla.
“All of the freshmen have been outstanding, we are excited about their class. They are going to grow into college soccer. Obviously they are already making impacts,” said Bush. “We have a few that are injured even, that we haven’t even seen yet.”
Countering this attack, the Kangaroos got on the scoreboard from down the field in the 70th minute, following the second Golden Eagles pitch. The defensive battle continued as the ORU women defended a seven-game winning streak from the previous season.
“We just played a great opponent, so that is sort of a measuring stick and we are able to walk away with a win. That is a good sign, a good indicator,” said Bush. “We definitely have a lot of things from this game we can take to improve and get better.”
The Golden Eagles continue their season Sunday at 1 p.m. against Loyola University at Case Soccer Complex.
“Moving to Sunday we will have to get our legs back underneath ourselves, which our coaches do a great job of preparing us for that moment,” said Beall. “This is the start of what is to come for us, we are showing great things early on and there are great things to come.”