UNI falls to Drake in regular season finale, MVC tournament

The UNI women’s soccer team ended their season to in-state rivals Drake, falling by a score of 2-0 on Oct. 28. They then turned right around and faced off against Drake again on Oct. 31 in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, losing in heartbreaking fashion in overtime by the score of 3-2. The Panthers end their season with a 6-10-1 record overall and 3-41 in MVC play.

The UNI women’s soccer team concluded their regular season this past Thursday with a match against in-state conference rivals Drake Bulldogs. The conditions were not ripe for game day, as the wind howled and the rain came down at a steady pace. The dreariness of the weather extended itself to the team as they lost 2-0. 

The Panthers had the first shot on goal in the match as redshirt sophomore Lily Caso’s attempt went wide left of the net. She had two other shot attempts throughout the day, neither of which were on goal. 

The Bulldogs didn’t have to wait long until they got their turn on goal, and they didn’t let it go to waste. In the 14th minute, Panther goalkeeper Chloe Russo blocked a shot attempt, but Bulldog midfielder Makenna Shepard swooped in and put the rebound into the back of the net. 

UNI tried to answer back 20 minutes later when Lauren Heinsch and Ashley Harrington attempted shots on goal, both of which were saved. The Bulldogs were able to capitalize on their momentum in the 41st minute when Hallie Peak buried one past Russo. 

The Purple & Gold battled back in the second half, putting five shots on goal, none of which were converted into goals. Eventually, the 90th minute came and went, ending the game and forcing the Panthers to conclude the regular season on a loss. 

The team didn’t have to wait long to get revenge on the Bulldogs as they hosted them in the first game of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament on Sunday, Oct. 31. The hard-fought match needed overtime to determine a winner, with Drake taking the 3-2 victory, advancing to the next round and ending the season for the Panthers. 

Siri Ott took the first shot on goal for UNI in the sixth minute. Libby Helverson knocked in the first goal of the match in the 13th minute, putting Drake out in front 1-0. The Panthers knotted things back up in the 33rd minute off of a goal from midfielder Sophia Meier coming off an assist from Johnnie Hill. The score held at 1-1 heading into the intermission. 

The Panthers largely controlled possession of the second half, but Makenna Shepard of Drake was able to break through with a goal past Russo to give the visitors a 2-1 edge in the 77th minute. UNI, not quick to go down without a fight, again tied the match off of a goal in the 83rd from defender Allison Whitaker following a corner kick. Neither team could score the rest of the way as the match went into overtime tied 2-2. 

The Bulldogs scored in the 100th minute of action, winning the match 3-2 and advancing to the next round of the MVC tournament. The Panthers ended their season with a 6-10-2 overall record and 3-4-1 record in conference play.