Panthers win home closer against Salukis, 3-1

DREW HILL, Opinion Columnist

The UNI women’s soccer team played in Cedar Falls for their last home game of the regular season against the Southern Illinois Salukis. UNI came into the game at 5-8-2 while Southern Illinois had a record of 0-13-1. The Panthers won the pivotal game by the score of 3-1 to move to fourth in the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) standings, guaranteeing them a spot in the six-team conference tournament. They only have one game left in conference play and are two games ahead of the seventh-place team.

Ashley Harrington got the game going for the Panther women with a goal in the ninth minute of action, off of an assist from UNI’s Lily Caso. Just before the end of the first half, Sandra Thiman tacked on her first of two goals on a penalty kick to put UNI ahead 2-0 in the 43rd minute. It was the first made penalty kick of her career.

Southern Illinois brought the game back within one goal in the 66th minute of the game with a penalty kick from Christy Murauskis. UNI held on to the one-goal lead until the 81st minute, when Thiman knocked in her second goal off an assist from Harrington. The Panthers kept two Southern Illinois corner kicks out in the final moments to seal the game at 3-1. UNI had 14 shots in the game, which was nine more than five from Southern Illinois. UNI also had nine corner kicks.

UNI next plays against in-state rival Drake at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 28. The Bulldogs are seventh in the conference standings and need a win to have a chance at the MVC tournament.