Panthers blowout Viterbo, tie St. Thomas


The UNI women defeated Viterbo 6-0 and tied St. Thomas in their two most recent games.


Just four months after their heartbreaking loss in the quarterfinals of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, falling to Illinois State in penalty kicks, the UNI women’s soccer team is back in action. After playing only 11 matches in a shortened and delayed spring season a year ago, the Panthers are ready for a full slate of games this fall, returning to a sense of normalcy that was lost this past season.

After a 1-0 opening day loss at Nebraska-Omaha, the Panthers hosted the Viterbo University V-Hawks of La Crosse, Wis. on Saturday in the home opener at the UNI Soccer Field in Cedar Falls. 

The offense started fast for the Panthers with freshman Ashley Harrington, who was just two months removed from leading Ankeny High School to a Class 3A state runner-up finish as she scored the first goal of the year in the fifth minute. Harrington’s goal was followed up by another from junior forward Sophia Doty just 36 seconds later, giving the Panthers an early 2-0 lead. Freshman forward Lauren Heinsch would score another goal in the 24th minute to give UNI a 3-0 halftime lead.

The offense wasn’t at all slowed down by the halftime break. Just 14 seconds into the second half, Siri Ott put a shot into the net, extending the lead to 4-0. This was followed up by a 50th minute goal from Heinsch, her second of the match, and an 80th minute goal from Lily Caso. Excellent work from the Panther defense kept Viterbo out of the scoring column, and UNI came away with their first victory of the year, 6-0.

From the opening kick to the final whistle, the Panthers had full control of the match. They attempted 30 shots, 14 of which were on goal with six finding the back of the net. Viterbo, on the other hand, attempted only two shots, one of which was on goal. The goalkeepers weren’t forced to work too hard in this one, with Caitlin Richards making the only save of the match. Twenty-three total Panthers saw time on the field in this blowout win.

In their third match of the year, the Panthers traveled to St. Thomas, Minn. on Tuesday for a match up with the University of St. Thomas Tommies. The defense and goalkeeping from both teams was fantastic as neither team managed to score. Through the full 90 minutes of regulation, as well as 20 minutes of overtime, neither side put a goal in the net, and the match ended in a 0-0 draw. The Panthers took 18 shots including nine on goal, while the Tommies took 12 shots with five on goal.