The Redbird soccer team notched its first victory of the season over Milwaukee Friday, 3-1, but dropped Sunday’s match against TCU, 2-0.
ISU 3, MILWAUKEE 1
In the matchup with Milwaukee, the ’Birds tallied three goals in the second half after trailing by a goal.
Early on, Milwaukee’s Sydney Senn gave the Panthers the lead on a header from a corner kick in the 16th minute, but the Redbirds responded well.
The ’Birds outshot the Panthers 10-5 in the first half, and 7-1 in shots on goal. Although they weren’t able to capitalize, ISU retained momentum. Head coach Eric Golz was pleased with the way his team responded after being down early.
“I’m really proud of the team for their response after the first half,” Golz said. “We were pretty lethargic and slow to start off, and we conceded a goal early. We challenged the players at halftime to show some character and resolve, and I thought they did a fantastic job of that.”
Just four minutes into the second half, the ’Birds broke through when Brooke Ksiazek fired a shot from the top of the box off a rebound to tie the game.
From there, ISU took over. The ’Birds controlled the tempo of the game and it showed. Thirteen minutes after tying the game, transfer Brianne Richards gave the team its first lead of the season when she scored on a breakaway.
In the 77th minute, Keely Theobald solidified the ’Birds’ first victory.
After knocking on the door many times in previous games, Golz believed it was just a matter of time before ISU found the back of the net.
“I think we’ve done a good job in all of our games creating good chances to score. We’ve been a little bit unfortunate with some of our finishing. But at some point, the dam was going to break. I think the second half this evening showed that, we created good chances, we did a much better job of finishing, we had great composure.”
TCU 2, ISU 0
The Redbirds suffered its third loss of the season Sunday.
TCU (1-3) came into Sunday’s game looking for its first win of the year. ISU was the final opponent of a four-game road trip to start the year for the Horned Frogs.
Early in the game, the ’Birds were tough, dictating the game and making TCU play their style. However, after about 25 minutes of gameplay, the momentum swung.
TCU’s Eryn Spencer broke through and tallied the first goal for the Horned Frogs in the 28th minute, which proved to be enough for the win.
“I think fitness hit us, our mental toughness and character did not display positively today,” Golz stated.
Following TCU’s go-ahead goal, ISU could not stir up offense the rest of the game.
“TCU’s a good opponent, they deserve some credit for the way they played and the things they did defensively,” Golz said. “For us, our execution was very uncoordinated. Things weren’t in sync with movement and passing. It looked like we didn’t have the legs to get numbers going forward sometimes.”
TCU tacked on another goal for breathing room in the 56th minute from Emma Heckendorn off a brilliant lead pass from Makenzie Koch.
“TCU brought a lot of energy to the game, they competed very hard, and they competed for 90 minutes. We competed for far less than 90 minutes,” Golz said.
The Redbirds will look to rebound Friday when they square off with Eastern Michigan in Normal.