This past Sunday, the UNI Panthers women’s soccer team hosted Valparaiso University in the 2021 Senior Day soccer match at Memorial Stadium in Waterloo, Iowa. The Panthers entered the match with a record of 2-3-2 on the season, while Valpo came in 2-2-4. Three Panthers, Olivia Stearns, Shelby Unruh, and Paige Sieren, were recognized for Senior Day prior to the match. All three also had a spot in the starting lineup. In what was a low-scoring, defensive battle, the Panthers ultimately came away victorious, 1-0.
The first half was dominated by the defenses, with both teams doing a great job at keeping their opponents from getting a clear look at the goal. There were only three shots attempted in the opening 45 minutes, two coming from the Panthers and one from Valpo. Neither of the Panthers shots were on goal, with one missing to the left while the other was too high. Valparaiso’s Kiera Pratt managed a shot on goal in the 42nd minute, but it was saved by UNI goalkeeper Caitlin Richards, and the teams went into halftime with a scoreless tie.
The Panther offense got off to a good start in the second half, getting three shot attempts on goal in the opening 10 minutes. The first two were saved by Valpo goalkeeper Nikki Coryell, but in the 54th minute sophomore Izzy Lafollette scored the first goal of her career to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead. The Panthers continued to get shots on goal, but they were continually saved by Coryell. Valpo could only muster one shot attempt which was not on goal in the final 45 minutes, and the Panthers came away with a 1-0 victory.
The Panther defense was fantastic, only allowing Valparaiso to attempt two shots the entire afternoon, including only one on goal. UNI, on the other hand, attempted 10 shots, six of which were on goal.
With the victory, the Panthers improve to 3-3-2 on the season. Their next game will be this coming Saturday, April 3, when they travel to Terre Haute, Ind. to take on the Indiana State Sycamores.